Anterior cruciate ligament injuries in children 12 years or younger


Formal title

Functional and radiological outcomes in children 12 years or younger after rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee


There have been an increased number of reports on anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in children over the last two decades. Alpine skiing, twin-tip skiing and soccer seems to be the sports in which children are most prone to sustain an ACL injury.
Due to the immature skeleton in children there is an increased risk in performing surgical treatment of the injury. Therefore children with ACL injury in Norway is primarily treated with active rehabilitation and bracing until skeletal maturity. Surgical treatment is initiated if the child experience major instability, or if secondary treatable injuries to menisci or cartilage is present.
This project aims at investigating how knee function develops in children after ACL injury and/or ACL reconstruction. High-resolution MRI is also used to investigate whether early degenerative changes occur within the knee after ACL injury or surgery.


Children with ACL injury referred to Hjelp24 NIMI or OUS at the age of 12 years or younger is included in the project. Children are assessed by professor and orthopaedic surgeon Lars Engebretsen, and functional tests are performed by Sports Physiotherapist Håvard Moksnes once a year. Additionally, the children's activitylevel is monitored through an internetbased questionnaire submitted to the participants monthly.


As of September 2010 48 children are included in the project. 60 % of the injuries have been sustained in alpine- or twin-tip skiing.
Moksnes H, Engebretsen L, Risberg MA. Performance-based functional outcome for children 12 years or younger following anterior cruciate ligament injury: a two to nine-year follow-up study. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 2008 March;16(3):214-23.