My son has anterior cruciate ligament injury. Is that something serious?

Would depend on trea. This would depend on treatment options you choose. The cruciate injury is a major debilitating injury that can be rehabbed to about 80% of pre injury status when properly evaluated and treated. Would suggest that he be seen by a specialist as soon as possible.
Yes. Reconstruction of an acl tear should strongly be considered in a young active individual especially if they want to continue to play sports/engage in high demand activities. Without an acl they may continue to experience giving way of the knee, each time potentially incurring further damage to the knee.

Related Questions

How severe is a torn anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Bad. For most active patients, acl injuries are fairly disabling. Most active patients will experience persistent instability episodes and pain that limit their pursuits of their activities. Therefore, most patients elect to have surgery. Return to all activities after surgery will take at least 6 months. Those patients who are not particularly active may not require surgery.
Significant. Acl tear is a significant injury to the knee. It can significantly affect the function of the knee. Especially pivoting activities. Acl injury can occur in motor vehicle accidents, falls, and most commonly in sports. The acl can tear in an injury involving knee contact with someone or something or without any knee contact. Acl is generally fixed to restore the best possible function to your knee.

What could cause anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Knee hyperextension. The ACL may tear when certain movements of the knee place a great strain on the acl. Hyperextension of the knee, that is, if the knee is straightened more than 10 degrees beyond its normal fully straightened position, is a very common cause of an torn acl. This position of the knee forces the lower leg excessively forward in relation to the upper leg. Pivoting injuries of the knee with exc.
Force. An acl injury usually is a rotational or hyperextension force applied to the knee causing mechanical failure of the ligament. People get these injuries as a result of being fatigued, out of shape or are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Pivoting on leg. Twisting or pivoting of your lower leg, while having your foot planted can cause an ACL injury. For example, a football or basketball player plants his/her foot to change direction, and feel their knee just give out on them. That's the classic mechanism for an ACL injury.

What does anterior cruciate ligament ACL injury feel like?

Giving way. Classically people describe a buckling, twisting, or giving way episode in the knee, with a popping feeling. Sometimes the pop is audible. Commonly there is swelling, limited ability to walk, and then associated stiffness+pain; as swelling goes down, pain will go away, but instability (wobbly/buckling) feeling with quick changes of direction persists; some people have minimal pain/swelling.

What causes the pain with an anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Instability. In the acute phase, the rupture ligament will hurt. Additionally, the knee will fill with blood right after the injury. This hurts. Finally, there are often associated injuries, eg meniscus tears or bone bruises, that hurt. After the acute pain resolves, people with an acl deficient knee are limited by the subtle instability which can be felt as soreness or as instability.
Meniscal tears. You may have associated meniscal tears, that can be responsible for the pain. Or, the swelling of the knee itself, can be causing the pain.

What is the treatment for anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Mostly surgery. Most patients will elect to have surgery to "fix" their acl while some people will try physical therapy and bracing first. Surgery involves reconstructing the ligament with a graft. Sewing the ligament back together does not work. Bone tunnels are made and the graft in strung through the tunnels to mimic the original acl. Over time, the graft heals in. There are many graft options.
Typically surgery. When you tear an acl, a person often feels as though the knee went the wrong way. It is usually a non-contact injury. The knee will swell. Later after recovery from the pain and swelling of this first injury, the knee often feels great. The symptoms then are of recurring instability like you don't trust the knee or it gives out. So the symptoms actually change with time. Surgery is usually the tx.
Most choose surgery. Sugical reconstruction is the most common treatment, although some will elect to only treat with physical thearpy. When pursuing surgery there are many graft options, but despite which one the surgeon may use the procedure includes putting tunnels in the bones of the knee and threading the graft through to replace the original ligament. Trying to reconnect the ends of the original lig doesn't work.
Surgery. Usually surgery is recommended to make the knee stable again. At age 45, if you choose not to be physically active, you can get by without surgery. Please consult an orthopedic sports medicine knee specialist.

What are the common symptoms of anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Pain & Instability. Acl tears typically are painful, cause knee swelling, and cause the sensation of instability in the knee.
Pop, pain, swelling. The most common symptoms of acl injury are a non-contact twisting or hyperextension injury to the knee associated with an audible or palpable pop followed by pain and swelling. Contact injuries are also common. Typically, the knee will swell for several days. Even though you may be able to bend it and walk on it eventually, most patients continue to feel instability or "giving way" or buckling.
Instability. Your knee may feel unstable, or like it wants to "give out" on you, especially with twisting activities. You may have some pain also, particularly if any of the menisci are injured.

What are the causes of the pain in an anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Swelling/bone bruise. Initial pain after tearing your acl is due to 3 main reasons. 1) bleeding from the tear fills the knee exerting pressure on the capsule which is very sensitive to pressure. 2) the forces that cause the tear cause the femur and tibia to smack together leaving characteristic bone bruises in the femur and tibia. 3) additional injuries, most commonly meniscus tears can add to the pain of acl injury.
Meniscal tears. Often one or both of the menisci may be torn, as well as the ACL. The pain can come from a meniscal tear that tugs at the nerve endings, resulting in pain. Swelling from the injury can cause pain as well.

How can you prevent anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Neuromuscular traini. Research has shown that the incidence of non-contact ACL injury can be reduced anywhere from 20% to 80% by engaging in regular neuromuscular training that is designed to enhance proprioception, balance, proper movement patterns and muscle strength.
Train neuromuscular. There is evidence to show that neuromuscular training including plyometrics, balance, and technique training, as well as heightened awareness of injury biomechanics, reduce the risk of serious injury in female athletes. What specific exericises, sequence, intensity and duration remains unknown.

How long does it take to recover from a anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury and to be able to play sports?

Depends. There are many variables that will effect the time necessary to recover enough to return to sports including the graft used, fixation techniques and the biases of the surgeon. Because some studies suggest return to sports prior to 9 months post surgery may increase the risk of reinjury, I prefer to have my patients wait 9 months. Some athletes may return sooner with successful rehabilitation.
Jogging by 3 months. Recovery after acl reconstruction needs to be patient-specific. No 2 knee injuries are exactly alike. In general, we use 3 months as 1st waypoint whereby basic jogging is allowed. Cutting sports and running full speed are not usually allowed before 4.5 to 6 months after surgery, again depending upon how your affected lower extremity compares to the normal knee with strength, motion, and endurance.
Depends. Recovering from an acl surgery follows a specific time course depending on how well you progress through physical therapy. The one factor that you can't control is how long it takes for your graft to incorporate, and to "ligamentize", which can be anywhere from 4 to 8 months or more depending on the choice of graft tissue.