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Knee Pain and Adolescence

Football Player

Adolescence can be stressful enough without adding knee pain on top of it. I had a 13 year old boy in recently, and diagnosed him with the fancy title of Sinding-Larsen Johanssan Syndrome. This is an osteochondrosis of the patella tendon. It is linked to recent or rapid growth spurts along with a very active or sporty lifestyle. Similar to the condition of Osgood Schlatter’s disease it is an overuse injury.

Correct diagnosis is so important here. I was able to eliminate other conditions linked to the patellar femoral and knee joint so that the appropriate treatment was given. He was advised to stop all football and running activities for a certain time period. Initial hands on treatment involved releasing tightened and shortened muscle groups including hamstrings, quads, ITB and calf muscles. Ice, anti-inflammatory tablets and cream were also helpful. As the initial acute, inflammatory phase began to settle we moved on to a programme of graded exercises involving correct alignment, strengthening and stretching. A graduated return to sport was monitored and he also availed of a patellar strap. After a few frustrating months of holding back, this active teen is now back pain free playing football and activities. Success!