Pediatric ACL injuries: evaluation and management

Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2013 Jun;6(2):132-40. doi: 10.1007/s12178-013-9169-8.


The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a stabilizing structure to both anterior translation of the tibia with respect to the femur as well as rotation of the knee joint. Children and adolescents are susceptible to these injuries, and there are some who believe the incidence of ACL injuries in this population is increasing due to year round single sport participation. Pediatric ACL injuries are typically seen in several forms: tibial avulsion fractures, partial ACL tears, and full thickness ligament tears. There were and still are some who feel that ACL injuries should be treated non-operatively in the pediatric and adolescent population; however, recent literature refutes this notion. Several factors must be considered during pediatric and adolescent ACL reconstruction, each of which will be examined in this manuscript, including: status of the physis, reconstruction technique, and graft source.