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Pediatric Knee Injuries - ACL

Recognizing an ACL injury in children

Children who play basketball, volleyball, soccer, or football or who ski are most likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) when they slow down, pivot or land after a jump.

If your child injures his, he may not feel any pain immediately. Your child might hear a popping noise and feel his knee give out from under him.

Within a few hours, your child will notice swelling at the knee. The knee will often hurt when attempting to stand on it. It's important to keep weight off the knee until your child can see your healthcare provider, or he may injure the knee cartilage. Your child should use an ice pack to reduce swelling and keep the leg elevated. If needed, use a pain reliever. If your child must walk, use crutches and be sure to see a doctor right away to have your knee evaluated.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Tips for preventing an ACL knee ligament injury

How can my child prevent an ACL injury?

How is an ACL injury in children diagnosed?

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Meet the Providers Who Treat Knee Injuries

Departments that Treat Knee Injuries - ACL

Children’s National orthopaedic surgeon Sean Tabaie, M.D., cares for pediatric patient in cast.

Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

From sprains and strains to complex congenital conditions, Children's National Hospital offers one of the most experienced pediatric orthopaedic practices in the nation, with experience in treating all areas from head to toe.