- Young athletes who partially or completely tear their ACL may or may not have symptoms, depending on the severity of the injury.
- Most kids report hearing a “pop’’ sound—which is the sound of the ligament tearing.
- When athletes tear their ACL, they sometimes report a sensation that their knee has "given out."
- Often there is intense pain and swelling of the knee joint within 24 hours of the tear.
Who is at risk?
Teenage girls are four times more likely than boys to tear an ACL for reasons ranging from differences in body shape to hormones that loosen the ACL.
A child who injures a knee should stop all activity to prevent further injury and seek immediate medical care. In the meantime:
- Keep the area iced for up to 20 minutes at a time.
- Keep the knee elevated to reduce swelling.
- Don’t allow child to put weight on the knee.
Surgery is often necessary. If the child is still growing, our surgeons will focus on making sure surgery doesn’t affect the growth plates.