Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
What is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury?
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four main ligaments in the knee. Its job is to provide stability to the knee and minimize stress across the knee joint.
ACL injuries usually occur while an athlete is playing sports that involve cutting and pivoting like soccer, skiing, basketball, gymnastics, volleyball and football. And while a torn ACL was once an injury exclusive to athletes, with today’s active lifestyles it’s becoming more common in any age group and at various activity levels.
An injury to your child’s ACL may require reconstruction surgery, followed by an intensive rehabilitation program for a healthy return to her high activity levels.
With appropriate treatment and rehabilitation, most patients who undergo ACL reconstruction surgery can return to full sports participation within six months.
ACL injury: Reviewed by Martha Murray, MD
© Children’s Hospital Boston, 2012