Knee pain in kids

Knee pain is common in childhood. From bumps and bruises to ‘growing pains’, many children develop symptoms as the years fly by. Let’s look at one particular condition, called Osgood‐Schlatter’s disease, to better understand how knee pain in kids should be treated.

Osgood‐Schlatter’s disease can cause knee pain in rapidly growing children. Typically, this problem involves a part of the knee called the tibial tuberosity, which is the bump of bone just below your knee cap. The muscle that attaches here, the quadriceps, actually starts to pull this protuberance off the main bone shaft.

Osgood schlatter's disease

Note how the quadriceps tendon is pulling the bone away from the tibia

Osgood‐Schlatter’s disease usually affects kids between 11 and 14 years old, as this is a time of rapid growth. As children go through these growth spurts, the muscles around the knee can become very tight, exacerbating the problem.

Other conditions that must be differentiated from Osgood‐Schlatter’s disease include patella problems, tendinitis and knee fractures.

Unfortunately, playing sport can add to the problem. Any activity can cause Osgood‐Schlatter’s, but it is more common in activities that involve a lot of jumping and quick changes in direction like basketball, volleyball, soccer and gymnastics.

The good news is that with the right know‐how it is easy to treat the pain. Physio can help to stretch tight muscles, strengthen the weak ones, and make sure that all of your biomechanics are correct.

step down exercise

The step-down exercise, which, when performed correctly, can help to cure Osgood-Schlatter’s disease

We can also check your walking pattern and knee‐cap angle/position, and advise on how to modify movements in activity that might be contributing to the problem. Thankfully, we have good success in treating Osgood‐Schlatter’s disease.


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