Types of Juvenile Knee Pain & Symptoms

By Tomás Ryan BSc.,Ph.Th. MIAPT, Registered Physical Therapist(MIAPT) based in Thurles

Knee Pain in Juvenile’s is something that is very common for those are very active in sport but it can also occur with inactive Kids. The growth stage of their tendons and bones is obviously inherent in the cause of the conditions. For sports active Juveniles that have a high training load, the condition is exasperated by failure to reduce the training load when pain starts to occur. For non-sporty or inactive Juveniles their problem occurs due to a low training load tolerance of their patello-femoral knee joint (knee-cap’s interaction with the knee joint), hence a ‘once –off’ game of soccer can cause overload and injury to their patella-femoral joint of the knee. In this week’s article I will discuss the symptoms & different conditions that affect the patella-femoral joint.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Sore pain at the front of the Knee during activity

  • Knee pain occurs during weight bearing walking, running and sport

  • Aggravated by running and ascending & descending stairs

  • Weight bearing with the knee in a bent position causes pain

Different Types of Juvenile Knee Pain Conditions

  • Osgood-Schlatters is knee pain at the tibial tuberosity bony point which is situated below the knee cap (patella)

  • Patella Tendinopathy common is juveniles that participate in sport that require frequent jumping. It is diagnosed by tenderness/pain at the base of the knee cap (patella)

  • Osteochondritis Dissecans - is a condition that affects children and Juveniles where a fragment of bone becomes loose and separated within the knee joint due to poor blood supply to that area of the bone. There is soreness and pain at the front of the knee joint but the Juvenile also suffers from a ‘Locking sensation of the Knee Joint’ which is difficulty in extending or fully straightening the knee during walking and standing activities.

  • Sinding-Larsen-Johanssen – is a condition that affects 10-14 year olds and is highlighted by pain underneath the Knee-cap during activity. It is caused by high tensile loads on immature or weak bone growth at the patella attachment point at the base of the Knee-Cap. Symptoms are similar to Patella Tendinopathy.

  • Patella Sleeve Fracture – is a fracture that occurs at the base of the knee-cap during sports activity that results in immediate pain and inability to weight bear on that leg.

In next week’s article I will discuss treatment Patello-femoral pain in Juveniles.

Tomás Ryan is a Registered Physical Therapist with The Irish Association of Physical Therapy (MIAPT) and is based in Thurles. Contact Number: 0504 26672

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Physiotherapy & Injury Rehabilitation Clinic in Tipperary

0504 26672


The Surgery, Fianna Road, Thurles


Riverside Medical Centre, 7 Upper

Irishtown, Clonmel

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