Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Sports Med. 2002 Sep-Oct;30(5):697-703.

Partial tears of the anterior cruciate ligament in children and adolescents.

Author information

  • 1Division of Sports Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



The functional outcome after partial anterior cruciate ligament tears in children and adolescents treated without reconstruction has not been established.


Nonreconstructive management of partial anterior cruciate ligament tears can be effective in certain pediatric patients.


Prospective cohort study.


We studied 45 skeletally mature and immature patients 17 years of age or less who had an acute hemarthrosis, magnetic resonance imaging signal changes, grade A or B Lachman and pivot shift result, and an arthroscopically documented partial anterior cruciate ligament tears. All patients were treated without reconstruction, underwent a structured rehabilitation program, and were followed up for a minimum of 2 years.


Fourteen patients (31%) underwent subsequent reconstruction. Significant associations with subsequent reconstruction included tears that were greater than 50%, predominantly posterolateral tears, a grade B pivot shift test result, and older chronologic and skeletal age. Among patients who did not require reconstruction, those with tears that were greater than 50% or predominantly posterolateral had significantly lower Lysholm, satisfaction, and Cincinnati Knee Scale scores.


Nonreconstructive management is recommended for partial anterior cruciate ligament tears in children and adolescents 14 years of skeletal age or younger with normal or near-normal Lachman and pivot shift results. Reconstruction is recommended in older athletes or in those with greater than 50% or predominantly posterolateral tears.

Copyright 2002 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk