Children's Hospital Colorado

Pediatric ACL Injury and Repair with Jay Albright, MD (S3:E27)

A common sports injury we see in our pediatric patient population is ACL injury. An ACL tear was once an injury exclusive to professional or elite athletes, but the growing prevalence of specialization and year-round training in youth sports has contributed to a large rise in ACL tears in pediatric patients.

Listen to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon discuss ACL injury

In this episode, Jay Albright, MD, joins us to review an ACL tear in a 16-year-old female and discuss his approach to diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Dr. Albright is the Surgical Director of the Sports Medicine Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado and Assistant Professor of Orthopedics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine/

In this episode, our expert discusses:

  • Being “born into” orthopedics and the unique experience of learning from his father
  • The circumstances surrounding a 16-year-old soccer player who suffered an ACL injury
  • Factors that contributed to the injury, including the number of high-intensity events
  • Theories for explaining why young female athletes are at higher risk for tearing their ACL
  • Modifying the strength ratio to decrease the risk of ACL injuries in young women
  • Why the best time to initiate an ACL tear diagnosis is as soon as the injury occurs
  • How the imaging study helps in terms of the diagnosis and planning for surgery
  • The period between the imaging study, confirming the diagnosis and planning the recovery
  • Variables that impact how soon the surgery is done and when it might be postponed
  • How the surgical technique has evolved over time and thoughts on using the hamstring
  • How the status of the growth plates impacts decision-making around surgery
  • The recovery process after surgery and why it’s particularly challenging for athletes
  • The importance of providing mental health support during the recovery period
  • A medical perspective on youth competitive sports and year-round sport

Treatment of ACL injury at Children’s Colorado

Our Sports Medicine Center team cares for young, growing athletes of all skill levels in nearly every sport. Our pediatric sports medicine experts include doctors, athletic trainers, physical therapists, dietitians and other specialists. Because we’re trained in children’s sports medicine, we recognize that an injury could impact growth. Similarly, we understand growth might impact rehabilitation. So we craft age-appropriate care plans that complement each athlete’s unique situation by carefully evaluating these factors.

Refer a patient to Children’s Colorado.