Pediatric ACL Injuries
What are some of the considerations for pediatric ACL reconstruction?
Pediatric patients with an ACL tear are still growing. This creates a concern that continued knee activity without surgery will increase the risk of damage to other knee structures including the cartilage and meniscus which will increase the risk for early onset osteoarthritis. Conservative treatment without surgery can be recommended in kids with a partial tear, those who engage in low level activity, and do not have any other injuries within the knee. However, kids who have been found to have a complete ACL tear are indicated for surgical reconstruction of the ACL. The growth plate in actively growing kids can be damaged during the drilling of tunnels for ACL reconstruction and therefore the surgical technique requires an adaptation.
Assessing skeletal age is essential to selecting age appropriate ACL reconstruction techniques. In kids with multiple years of potential growth, a standard adult ACL reconstruction can lead to limb length differences and possible deformity due to damage of the growth plate. Surgeons have created techniques to reconstruct the ACL without damaging or having only minimum contact with the growth plate. Patient age (usually >14 years old) as well as the beginning of menstrual cycles in females is the best indication of skeletal maturity and helps to determine how the procedure is performed.
Dr. Chahla is a nationally renowned, award-winning, fellowship-trained, and board-certified orthopedic surgeon in Chicago. Dr. Chahla has orthopedic clinics in Chicago, Naperville, Oak Brook, and Munster Indiana.
At a Glance
Dr. Jorge Chahla
- Triple fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon
- Performs over 500 surgeries per year
- Assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Rush University
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