Transepiphyseal anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
Your child may need surgery if:
- The injury is severe.
- Physical therapy does not make the knee stable enough to return to sports.
The goal of surgery in young patients is to make their knees stable with the least possible risk of affecting their growth.
During surgery, orthopedic surgeons use tissue taken from your child’s hamstring tendons to reconstruct the ACL. We drill small holes in the shinbone and the thighbone. Then, we pass the new ligament through the drill holes and secure it to the bones.
This surgery requires only small incisions. The surgeons insert a tool called an arthroscope into your child’s knee. They use pictures displayed on a large monitor to guide their actions. Learn more about arthroscopic surgery (PDF) and graft choices for ACL surgery in youth (PDF).
After surgery, your child will have regular physical therapy, most likely twice a week for 4 to 8 weeks. This will help strengthen muscles and stabilize the knee. Your child probably will need physical therapy for 9 months to a year after surgery.
Read more about arthroscopic and minimally invasive surgery for ACL reconstruction.