Knee pain is quite common in growing children. Here we discuss three of the most common causes and their treatment.
Patellofemoral Pain (sometimes known by other terms, such as chondromalacia patellae)
This is a common problem in children and results from the kneecap not tracking properly over the knee during normal movement. Pain is mostly noticed on the inside of the knee cap, and tends to be worse when loading the knee when the leg is bending, such as going up stairs or standing up.
Osgood Schlatter’s disease
This occurs in children and often coincides with a growth spurt. The kneecap is attached to the lower leg by a tendon. Osgood Schallter’s disease refers to an irritation of the area where this attachment is located, and can be associated with a bony lump in the area. This is cause by exercise involving lots of use of the muscles at the front of the thigh (Such as during running and jumping).
This is more common in adults, but can occur in children too. It often appears after a sudden increase in training loads. Pain occurs in the tendon just below the kneecap. The area will often be still and sore after exercise, and again the following morning.
It is not normal for children to get regular knee pain after normal activity and sports. It is essential that a proper assessment is conducted so that a diagnosis of the actual problem can be made.
How we treat knee pain in children
There are a variety of treatment options available, depending on the cause of the symptoms. These include:
Stretching and exercises to improve leg and knee function, and to make the kneecap move properly. Looking at sport and training, and especially being careful of sudden changes in training. Sometimes a short break from sport is a good idea. If a person has a biomechanical factor which contributes to the problem, then orthoses may be required. In this case, we may use our Bodytech treadmill to analyse walking, running, posture, and balance. We often give footwear advice in relation to casual as well as sport shoes. Our THOR Medical Laser can be used to actively treat pain, and inflammation and promote rapid recovery.
If your child is complaining of knee pain, or having trouble with their knees during sport, then bring them in for some expert care at The Perth Foot & Ankle Clinic.