Apex Sports Clinic

ACL tears in adolescents

Let’s understand ACL tears in adolescents

ACL tears in adolescents

ACL tears, abbreviated for anterior cruciate ligament tears, stand as a prevalent challenge among adolescents, particularly those actively involved in sports. This ligament, pivotal for knee stability during movements, faces vulnerability to tears, which can significantly impair mobility and athletic prowess.

ACL tears in adolescents

ACL tears, abbreviated for anterior cruciate ligament tears, stand as a prevalent challenge among adolescents, particularly those actively involved in sports.

What are the causes?

Dynamic sports like soccer, basketball, and football, characterized by abrupt stops, directional shifts, and leaps, heighten the susceptibility of ACL injuries.

  • Direct impacts to the knee from falls or collisions pose risks of ACL tears.
  • Repetitive stress from rigorous training regimens or biomechanical imbalances can weaken the ACL, escalating tear risks.

Decoding the Symptoms:

  • Immediate onset of pain at the injury site, often accompanied by swelling and tenderness surrounding the knee.
  • Sensation of the knee “giving way” or buckling during weight-bearing activities, indicating compromised joint integrity.
  • Difficulty in fully extending or flexing the knee without discomfort, hinting at functional impairment.
  • Some individuals perceive or hear a distinct popping sensation during the injury event, signaling ligament disruption.

Unveiling the Treatments:

  • Conservative Approach such as RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) coupled with targeted physical therapy to bolster adjacent muscle groups and enhance joint stability.
  • Utilization of knees braces or supports to augment stability and mitigate further trauma during physical exertion.

Surgical Intervention

 ACL Reconstruction Surgery


The surgeon selects a graft tissue, often from the patient’s hamstring tendon, quadriceps tendon, or patellar tendon, to serve as a replacement for the torn ACL. The harvested graft is prepared and sized appropriately to match the dimensions of the native ACL. Using surgical screws, staples, or other fixation devices, the surgeon secures the graft in place, replacing the damaged ACL.

Following surgery, a structured rehabilitation program is initiated to promote healing, regain strength, and restore range of motion in the knee joint.


  • Restored Stability
  • Improved Functionality.
  • Injury Prevention


  • As with any surgical procedure, ACL reconstruction carries risks such as infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. However, these risks are relatively low when performed by experienced surgeons in specialized medical facilities.
  • Successful recovery following ACL reconstruction hinges on diligent adherence to a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Patients must commit to the prescribed exercises and activities to optimize outcomes.

    While ACL reconstruction facilitates a return to sports and high-demand activities, the timing varies for each individual. Factors such as graft type, surgical technique, and rehabilitation progress influence the timeline for resuming athletic pursuits.

 Recovery Time:

The initial recovery period typically spans several weeks, during which patients may experience swelling, discomfort, and limited mobility.

Post-Surgical Management

  • A well-planned physical therapy protocols aimed at restoring strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the knee joint.
  • Utilization of prescribed medications and ice therapy to mitigate post-operative discomfort and swelling.
  • Systematic reintroduction of sports and physical activities under professional supervision, prioritizing injury prevention and optimal recovery.
Schedule An Appointment

Facing an ACL tear can be tough for teens, but with the right care, we can help them bounce back stronger. Quick medical help and tailored rehab plans pave the way to getting back on track. If you suspect an ACL injury, don’t wait—reach out for help.

Together, let’s get them back to doing what they love, stronger than ever!

Dr.Foo Gen Lin_Apex Sports Clinic