Knee injuries among children may not necessarily involve ACL

April 18, 2012

Topic: Orthopaedics & sports medicine

A child may injure her knee if she tries to break on her bike using her leg.

The intensity of youth sports may be responsible for the increasing rates of knee injuries among student athletes. While it is easy to assume that most of these mishaps affect the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one expert in orthopaedics and sports medicine suggests that the mechanics of knee injuries work differently in children.

Although it is possible for kids to tear the ACL, it is more likely that knee injuries in these young athletes are actually fractures in the tibial spine, pediatric orthopaedics specialist Eric Edmonds wrote in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

These mishaps may occur when a child tries to use his or her leg to break while riding a bicycle or when pivoting in sports.

If a child sustains an injury that causes the knee to swell, only knee doctors can tell the difference between a true ACL tear, fracture, kneecap dislocation, cartilage damage or ligament sprain.

Physicians may treat fractures with casting or surgery, depending on where the break occurs. The first line of treatment for a true ACL injury may include ice on the knee, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or resting the leg above heart level, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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