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Knee Injuries in Children and Adolescents

Knee Injuries in Children and Adolescents - El Paso Chiropractor


During the development of kids and teens as they grow, the tissues of the body, such as the bones, muscles, tendons and all other structures, starting growing abruptly. During these years, it’s also not uncommon for children and adolescents active lives and participate in athletic activities or sports but, as the body grows, the changing tissues can sometimes develop growth-related conditions or have a higher risk of injury.

Osgood-Schlatter disease, abbreviated as OSD, is a common condition characterized by knee pain in children and growing adolescents. It can be identified as an inflammation on the region below the knee, at the location where the patellar tendon from the kneecap attaches to the tibia, or shinbone. The disease commonly occurs during growth spurts since the structures of the body begin changing rapidly. Also, since physical activity puts additional stress on the bones and muscles, kids and teens who participate in athletic activities or sports, such as running or jumping sports, become more prone to developing Osgood-Schlatter disease. However, less active youth may also suffer from this condition.

Frequently occurring in children between the ages of nine and fifteen, the symptoms for Osgood-Schlatter disease include: knee pain and tenderness while performing physical activities, inflammation and swelling at the region of the knee, and tight muscles at the front or back of the thigh. Occasionally, the symptoms of the condition may occur in both knees, although these can be worse on one knee than the other.

Sinding Larsen Johansson syndrome, abbreviated as SLJ, is another condition resulting in knee pain in children and growing adolescents. This condition also occurs at the bottom of the patella or kneecap. Sinding Larsen Johansson syndrome is caused by a repetitive and constant tugging on the cartilage of the growth plates housed within a child’s body where these are weaker due to the young age, resulting in microscopic cracks on the cartilage. This condition can also be caused by one direct blow, fall, or sudden jump. Much like Osgood-Schlatter disease, this condition causes irritation, inflammation, swelling, and pain around the knee.

Sinding Larsen Johansson syndrome commonly occurs in children between the ages of seven and thirteen, slightly younger than those with OSD.


By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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