Beating the Odds for Reinjury

Tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most common injuries younger athletes experience.

Nationally, research shows that up to 30 percent of athletes under the age of 18 who suffer an ACL injury will reinjure themselves within two years.

At CHKD, we’ve created a unique recovery program that significantly lowers this risk and beats the national average. Only one out of 10 ACL patients at CHKD had a second injury within two years, according to a recent quality improvement project.


ACL Infographic

Our mission is simple: We help athletes get back in the game as safely as possible. Our patients head back to sports when they are physically and mentally ready.

Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Program

CHKD’s comprehensive interdisciplinary program uses a research-based protocol with specific criteria to help our patients safely return to the activities and sports they enjoy. We tailor our approach to take into consideration a patient’s age, their activity demands, and whether their body is still growing.

A Team Effort

Our sports medicine program includes sports medicine physicians and surgeons, sports medicine physical therapists, certified athletic trainers, and exercise specialists working as a team to guide each patient’s diagnosis, treatment plan, and rehabilitation.

Board-Certified Surgeons

Our experienced orthopedic surgeons, who have completed additional training in pediatric orthopedics and sports medicine, use the latest surgical techniques in ACL reconstruction and for the surgical management of other knee injuries. Each physician is licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Physical Therapy Before and After Surgery

Our patients begin their rehabilitation with our sports medicine physical therapists before surgery to address swelling and strength deficits. This helps restore range of motion, decrease inflammation, and prepares the knee for surgery.

After surgery, our physical therapists work with patients to help them heal properly and reach their goal to safely return to play. Our sports medicine team works together to help patients progress through an intensive therapy regimen that’s required to maximize function and performance.

Specialized Care for Kids and Teens

At CHKD, we specialize in taking care of young athletes who are still growing. We understand the physical and emotional impacts that come with athletic injuries and the importance of a safe return to sports.