A tibial spine avulsion is a variation of an ACL tear that usually occurs in young kids. In this week’s Ask Dr. Geier video, I explain what the injury is, how it is often treated, and what the recovery process entails for young patients.

Shari asks:

My 7-year-old son had a tibial spine fracture with avulsion. He had the ACL reattached. How long is the recovery usually? I was told no soccer for 9-12 months. Does that sound realistic?

The tibial spine is the bony attachment for the ACL inside the knee. In young kids, a traumatic event can pull the tibial spine off the top of the bone rather than tearing the ligament itself, as older patients usually do.

Also read:
ACL injuries in young athletes

Some tibial spine avulsion injuries can be treated without surgery. Some injuries do need to be surgically repaired, where the surgeon reattaches the bone with stitches or screws.

In this video, I describe the surgery and explain what the recovery involves. I also describe how we can predict the child’s return to sports and physical activity.

Also read:
ACL injuries: Rehab and return to sports

Young soccer player with tibial spine avulsion of the knee

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