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Knee Injuries in Kids and Adolescents

Specialised on knee injuries in kids and adolescents


Prof. Siebold is a very well known national and international expert for knee surgery in kids and adolescents. He performs meniscus-repair, cartilage-repair, ACL reconstruction and knee cap stabilization on a very experienced and routined basis for many years. His experience guarantees the best possible result.

1. Meniscus lesion


The meniscus is a cartilage between the femur and the tibia and is the most important structure in the joint. It protects the cartilage against overload, early destruction and osteoarthrosis. A meniscal damage in kids and adolescents is usually caused by a trauma, e.g. in sports.The young patients complain of pain at their knee joint and avoid their usual activities. The knee can be stiff, swolen and the kids may limp.

An examination of kids or adolscents is a difficult task and it is recommanded to consult a knee specialist. In case of any suspicion of injury an MRI (magnet resonance imaging) should be performed to visualize the meniscus, cartilage and the bones. Taking MRI pictures is harmless for your kid because it has no radiation.

Meniscus repair is absolutely necessary!

Especially in kids and adolescents it is mandatory to preserve the meniscus by repair. In our hands the standard is to perform a minimally invasive surgery. Prof. Siebold is very experienced and highly specialised on repairing the torn meniscus by arthroscic approach. The healing potential in kids after the repair is usually very good. A special case is the "discoid" meniscus, which can be repaired, too.
The surgery takes about 20-30 minutes and is performed in general anesthesia. The stay in hospital is about 2-3 days. Of course you can accompanie your kid and sleep together in one room.

2. Injury of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in Kids and Adolescents


The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is a 2.5 cm short and only 3-4 milimeter thin ligament in the middle of our knee joint. Its function is to stabilize the knee and (by doing so) to protect the meniscus and cartilage from injury and destruction.
Todays high activity level of kids and adolscents in sports leads to a high number of injuries to the ACL, too.
The ACL can be torn in itself or can be root out from the bone. In both cases the knee joint will be swolen, painful and unstable, with recurrent episodes of giving way during activities of daily living or sports. Very often sports actvity, e.g. soccer is avoided.

An examination of a kids or adolscents knee is difficult and therefore it is recommanded to consult a knee specialist. In case of any suspicion of injury an MRI (magnet resonance imaging) should be performed of the knee to visualize the ACL. Taking MRI pictures is harmless for your kid because it has no radiation.

ACL reconstruction in kids and adolescents

The function of the ACL is to stabilize the knee and (by doing so) to protect the meniscus and cartilage from injury and destruction. Therefore - and especially in young patients - it is very important to protect the meniscus and cartilage by stabilizing the knee. The goal is to avoid re-injury by recurrent instability episodes ("giving-way of the knee").

Again, an examination of a kid or adolscent is difficult and needs to be done by a specialized knee surgeon. In case of any suspicion of ACL injury an MRI (magnet resonance imaging) should be performed to reconfirm the diagnosis.

In case of an acute ACL injury physiotherapy should be performed first to regain motion and function. Muscle strenghtening and coordination is trained. There is a chance, that the young patient combe with the situation without sugery.

However, recurrent instability or episodes of "giving way" bare a high risk of meniscal injury and cartilage lesions in this very active and imcompliant young patients. These secondary injuries highly increase the risk of early osteoarthritis and should be avoided.
Therefore there is international consens, that an unstable knee after ACL injury needs to be operated to perform an ACL reconstruction to stabilize the knee and protect the meniscus and cartilage.

A special situation in kids and adolescents are the (still) open growth plates of the bones and at the knee. Prof. Siebold is specialized on ACL reconstruction in adults and kids since many years and uses a safe and reliable technique. He performed several thousand ACL reconstructions himself and developped instruments and techniques to improve the results. He is internationally very well known for this speciality.

The surgery takes about 1 hours and is performed in general anesthesia. The stay in hospital is about 3-4 days. Of course you can accompanie your kid and sleep together in one room.

3. Stabilization of the knee cap in kids and adolescents

An instability of the knee cap (=patella) can be very painfull and may restrict daily activity and sports. In most cases it is cause by a torn capsula and medial ligament (=MPFL). Recurrent instability can destroy the cartilage of the joint and may lead to early osteoarthrosis. Therefore the stabilisation of the knee cap is recommended to regain activity and avoid damage to the joint.
Depending on the cause of instability we offer special techniques to stabilize the knee cap by a bony and/or ligamentous approach. The individual approach guarantees a high rate of success.

4. Cartilage lesions in kids and adolescents


Cartialge lesions in kids and adolescents are usually caused by a sports accident. We are highly specialized on cartilage repair and cartilage transplantation. Every year Prof. Siebold performs approximately 100 cartilage transplantations (ACI) and many more cartilage repairs (e.g. AMIC = implantation of collagen membrane to close cartilage defects).
For more information please click here: cartilage repair in adults

5. Stay of your kid in ATOS Private Hospital

The ATOS Private Hospital has a very high standard and rooms comparable to a 5-star Hotel.
The stay in hospital depends of course on the kind of surgery and the postoperative situation. Usually the kids and aoslescents stay in hospital between 2-4 days depending on the medical situation. Of course a longer stay is possible. Many parents accompanie their kid and sleep together in one room.

6. Rehabilitation

During the stay in hospital physiotherapy is performed by experienced therapeuts daily. Your kid will need crutches to walk. A special knee brace will be given to you to protect the knee for 2-3 months.

7. Surgery and School

The first 1-2 weeks it is difficult to go to school. At least the first week after surgery should be paused. Then the kid can walk on crutches and might go back to school. Sports at school is not recommended for at least 4-6 months, depending on the injury. In case of ACL reconstruction at least 1 year of recovery is needed to reduce the risk of re-injury!