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Serious Knee Injuries Becoming More Common in Children and Teens

Research shows that injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are becoming more common among children and teenagers in what experts call “a significant public health issue.”

More Than Half of Child ACL Injuries Are Sports Related

The ACL is one of four ligaments in the knee and is critical in stabilizing the knee when it rotates and connecting the thigh bone to the shin bone. ACL injuries often require surgery and can leave young people at an increased risk of developing future health problems.

In a new infograph published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers note that the annual rate of ACL injuries recorded among children and teens in the Australian state of Victoria increased nearly 148 percent over the course of a decade.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) says the recovering from an ACL injury is difficult and evidence indicates that people who have suffered ACL injuries will develop osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis over time.

The research behind the infograph also showed that more than half of all ACL injuries suffered by children under the age of 14 were related to sports activities.

Experts say greater demands placed on young athletes, more intense training, and a new focus on sports specialization at a younger age have led to an increase in sports-specific knee injuries. With that, parents, coaches, trainers, and children should have ongoing communication about injury prevention and recovery.

Causes and Symptoms of an ACL Injury

The majority of ACL injuries occur during sports and fitness activities that put stress on the knee. Actions that may cause an ACL injury include:

  • Suddenly slowing down and changing direction (cutting)
  • Pivoting with your foot firmly planted
  • Landing from a jump incorrectly
  • Stopping suddenly
  • Receiving a direct blow to the knee or collision, such as a football tackle

When the ligament is damaged, there is usually a partial or complete tear across the tissue. A mild injury may overextend the ligament but leave it intact.

When an ACL injury happens, you will almost certainly realize that something is wrong. Symptoms include:

  • Severe pain
  • A loud pop or a popping sensation in the knee
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • A feeling of instability or inability to bear weight on the leg

Has Your Child Suffered a Sports Related Injury?

If your child was harmed while taking part in organized sports or other outdoor activities, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. Our experienced child sports injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to provide you with a free case review. Let us help you and your child obtain the compensation you need and deserve for your child’s injuries. Call us today.


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