ACL Tears

What is an ACL tear?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a specific structure in the knee that aids in providing stability. The ACL originates on the back portion of the thigh (femur), and inserts on the front portion of the lower leg (tibia). The ACL restricts the tibia from sliding forward and turning out excessively. It helps athletes with the ability to make quick cuts and twists while staying on their feet. An ACL can be sprained, partially torn, or fully torn. If this happens to your child, he or she is at higher risk for further injury due to instability.

What causes an ACL tear?

An ACL tear can be caused by:

  • Changing direction rapidly.
  • Landing from a jump incorrectly.
  • Direct contact or collision, such as a tackle.

What are symptoms of a ligament tear?

If your child has a torn ACL, he or she may experience:

  • Swelling.
  • Instability.
  • Loss of range of motion.
  • Tenderness along the joint.
  • Discomfort with normal activities.

Why choose Stanford Medicine Children’s Health to treat your child’s torn ACL?

Our sports medicine specialists have years of experience treating ACL tears, and they are experts in established and newer surgical techniques. Because our team is made up of doctors, physical therapists, and other specialists who only treat children and teens, we can account for your child’s future growth in our treatment plan. Our doctors and researchers are also working to identify new surgical techniques and perfect existing ones to ensure the best possible outcome for your child.

Learn more about how we treat ACL tears