Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
How are anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in children diagnosed?
In most cases, ACL injuries can be diagnosed through a physical examination.
The doctor (or sometimes a trainer at the scene of the injury) will examine the knee, and in most cases will use a series of flexion/extension maneuvers with the knee to identify which ligaments are injured.
To accurately diagnose an ACL injury, the following diagnostic tests may be used:
- X-ray: an x-ray may be performed to check for any fractures in the bones of the knee. However, since x-rays only produce images of the bone, they can’t detect soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):MRIs are able to show the severity of the injury and detect tears in other ligaments and muscles.