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Bone, Joint and Muscle Conditions

ACL Injuries


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.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

Spring 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

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Download Spring 2014 (PDF)