Bone, Joint and Muscle Conditions

ACL Injuries Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of ACL Injuries

If your child's knee suddenly swells after an accident or injury, they may have a torn ACL or another serious knee problem. Besides swelling, symptoms of ACL injuries include:

  • A popping sound at the time of the injury
  • Severe pain
  • Later, knee feels unstable

ACL Injuries Diagnosis

To help protect your child from more injuries that could hurt growing bones and joints, it is important to get a thorough evaluation and proper treatment.

When you and your child come to our clinic, we:

  • Ask what happened before the knee began to swell and hurt.
  • Examine your child's knee. To doctors trained in sports medicine, knees with ACL tears often feel loose.

We cannot be sure that your child has a torn ACL until the swelling in the knee has gone down. This takes about seven to 10 days. At that time, we may take:

  • Radiographs of your child's knee to get more information on what is wrong.
  • An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan if it is not clear that the ACL is torn or if we think your child may have other injuries.