Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in Children

  • What is the ACL?

    The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four main ligaments in the knee. Its primary job is to provide stability and reduce stress on the knee joint.

    What is an ACL injury?

    The ACL can be injured in several ways. The most common types of injuries are partial and complete tears of the ACL. Although partial tears can heal on their own, complete tears require surgical reconstruction.

    Another type of ACL injury is a tibial spine fracture, which occurs when the ACL pulls off of the bone. This injury may be treated with a cast or brace if the ACL has not moved. However, if the ACL is displaced, the injury requires surgery to reattach the ACL to the bone.

    In the News

    The future of treating ACL tears

    Boston Children’s Martha Murray, MD, has studied ACL tears and sought ways to help the ligament heal without grafts or holes drilled into bones. The result has been a sponge scaffold now ready for testing in human knees. If all goes as hoped with human trials, the sponge scaffold could give athletes new, less invasive options for ACL repairs. In a Boston Globe article, Murray discusses what it took to go from engineering student to designing structures that help ACLs heal themselves and what she hopes the future holds.

    Suffering on the sidelines, more athletes hit by ACL tears.

    The Boston Globe – South reports on ACL injuries in high school athletes and Boston Children’s Martha Murray, MD, explains that seventy percent of ACL tears are the result of noncontact injuries and the injury is more common among females than males, with the ratio ranging from 2 to 1 to 8 to 1. The Boston Globe – West and The Boston Globe – North also ran stories on the topic. The Boston Globe – West also included tips from Dr. Murray on ACL injury prevention.

    Suffering on the sidelines, more athletes hit by ACL tears.

    Needham High soccer star, other girls coping with rise in ACL tears

    Girls’ soccer players dealing with rise in ACL tears

    Tips to prevent ACL tears.

    ACL injury: Reviewed by Martha Murray, MD
    © Boston Children's Hospital, 2013

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Overcoming an ACL injury - Olympic bound slopestyle skier Julia Marino

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