What to Expect When Your Child Tears Their ACL


Your young teenage soccer star runs up the field and makes a quick change in direction, you see their knee buckle and they crumple to the ground in pain. They can’t put any weight on it. You get to them and they think something popped in their knee. Within a few hours the knee starts to swell. The next morning it’s still pretty swollen and still can’t put weight on it so you take them in to your local sports medicine specialist. The doctor examines the knee and then gets some x-rays of the knee. Everything on the x-rays looked fine but they’re concerned about the exam. When they tested the ACL, or the anterior cruciate ligament, the doctor thinks the exam wasn’t normal and they’re fairly certain the ACL is torn. After that you and your young soccer star don’t hear much else of what the doctor has to say as you’ve eard of this injury before and know this means your child is likely going to be out of sports for a while.

ACL injuries in kids have been described as some as an epidemic. Surgeons are operating on more young athletes with this injury than ever before. Today on the podcast we are going to talk about what to expect when your young athlete has been diagnosed with an ACL tear, what happens in surgery, what to expect following surgery, what rehabilitation is like and expectations for getting back to sports. I am Dr. Mark Halstead, your host, and you are listening to the Healthy Young Athlete Podcast.


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Links from this Episode:

— Dr. Mark Halstead https://www.ortho.wustl.edu/content/Patient-Care/2797/Find-a-Physician/Physician-Directory/Mark-Halstead-MD/Bio.aspx

— Dr. Jennifer Beck  https://www.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?id=10&action=detail&ref=1679

— Paul Jenkins https://www.stlouischildrens.org/node/23991

— Center for Sports Medicine – OIC https://ortho-institute.org/care/sports-medicine

— Young Athlete Center – St Louis Childrens https://www.ortho.wustl.edu/content/Patient-Care/4744/Services/Pediatric-and-Adolescent-Orthopedic-Surgery/Young-Athlete-Center/Overview.aspx

— Summer Runestad – LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/summer-runestad-3b040b38

— FIFA 11 Program – https://www.fifamedicalnetwork.com/lessons/prevention-fifa-11/

— PEP Program https://www.aclstudygroup.com/pdf/pep-program.pdf

— ACL Injuries – AAP Healthy Children https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/injuries-emergencies/sports-injuries/Pages/ACL-Injuries.aspx

— ACL Tears  https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/anterior-cruciate-ligament-acl-injuries/

— MRI  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/146309

— Segond Fracture  https://radiopaedia.org/articles/segond-fracture?lang=us

— Have you looked in on Dr. Mark’s other podcast, The Pediatric Sports Medicine Podcast?


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The Host of this Program:

Dr. Mark Halstead - Host of The Pediatric Sports Medicine Podcast - St. Louis, MOMark Halstead: 

Dr. Mark Halstead received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He stayed at the University of Wisconsin for his pediatric residency, followed by a year as the chief resident. Following residency, he completed a pediatric and adult sports medicine fellowship at Vanderbilt University. He has been an elected member to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness and the Board of Directors of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM). He has served as a team physician or medical consultant to numerous high schools, Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Washington University, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, St. Louis Athletica, and St. Louis Rams. He serves and has served on many local, regional and national committees as an advisor for sports medicine and concussions. Dr. Halstead is a national recognized expert in sport-related concussions and pediatric sports medicine.

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The Guests Featured Inside this Program:

Dr. Jennier Beck - A Guest on The Healthy Young Athlete Podcast Hosted by Dr. Mark HalsteadJennifer Beck: 

Dr. Jennifer Beck is an assistant professor in the department of orthopedics at the Orthopedic Institute for Children, part of the University of California in Los Angeles. She completed her orthopedic residency at Loyola University in Chicago, followed by her Pediatric orthopedic surgery fellowship at UCLA and then a sports medicine fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is active in multiple orthopedic organizations has published numerous articles on pediatric sports medicine topics.

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Dr. Paul Jenkins: A Guest on The Healthy Young Athlete Podcast Hosted by Dr. Mark HalsteadPaul Jenkins: 

Paul Jenkins is a physical therapist and has been with St Louis Children’s Hospital since 1993, currently serving as the coordinator for its Young Athlete Center. He received his masters in physical therapy from Washington University School of Medicine. In addition to treating young athletes for several decades, he has been active in coaching multiple youth sports including through the Special Olympics. He also teaches with the Washington University School Medicine Program in Physical Therapy.

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Summer Runestad: A Guest on The Healthy Yong Athlete Podcast Hosted by Dr. Mark HalsteadSummer Runestad: 

Summer Runestad is a certified athletic trainer with over 15 years of experience in prevention and care of athletic injuries. She currently manages the Sports Medicine Program at the Orthopedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles and assists with research, patient education and return to sport assessments. She is also a certified performance enhancement and corrective exercise specialist.

Connect with Dr. Jennier Beck! On the Web – Via Twitter