JOCD usually affects active children and young adolescents. Although it can lead to arthritis, children with the condition normally do very well long-term. Symptoms including joint “locking,” stiffness and swelling.
Treatment for JOCD usually involves rest and casting, but kids with chronic JOCD or a large affected area may need surgery (Source: Children’s Memorial Hospital Institute for Sports Medicine).
A recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says with conservative treatment alone, 50 percent of children with JOCD will heal to form a normal knee in adulthood.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the knee’s four main ligaments. A sudden, abrupt change in force to the knee can cause it to tear, and unfortunately, the ligament has virtually no capacity to heal itself once torn.
Because of the ligament’s inability to heal, surgeons repair the tear by substituting a nearby tendon — such as from the hamstring — for the damaged one. Because this type of surgery involves going through the growth plates of the leg bone and thigh bone, it can cause growth of the leg to slow.
For this reason, doctors usually recommend a patient wait until they reach near skeletal maturity to undergo ACL reconstruction surgery.