How is the ACL different in children and teens?
There are four main ligaments that stabilize the knee. The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL stabilizes the knee in two ways: First, the ACL acts as a passive restraint to larger movements between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone.) Second, the ACL has mechanically sensitive nerve receptors which sense the position of a joint. When the knee starts to exceed the normal range or speed, these sensors send a signal to the brain which, in turn, stimulates the appropriate muscle to help stabilize the joint.
An ACL in adults and children has the same job in stabilizing the knee, the difference is how it is treated if there is an injury. Dr. Armando Vidal, pediatric orthopedic knee specialist has extensive experience in successfully treating young patients in Vail, Aspen and the surrounding Denver, Colorado communities who have torn or injured their ACL.