Adolescent Injuries

Similar to adult’s, adolescent’s can suffer any type of injury however there are also more specific adolescent conditions that can arise as children become skeletally mature. The examples of which are highlighted below.

Osgood-Schlatter disease

This is a condition commonly affects girls (10-12 years) and boys (13-15 years old), but the ages can also vary due to the ageing process. The primary complaint of this condition is pain localised just below the knee on the bony prominence (tibial tuberosity). The condition occurs from irritation of the growth plate. The onset of pain is normally associated with high levels of activity during periods of rapid growth.

Symptoms include:

  • pain around and below the knee, worsening with exercise
  • relief rest
  • swelling or tenderness under the knee and in the shin
  • limping during and after exercise
  • tightness of the muscles surrounding the knee (the hamstring and quadriceps muscles)

Quadriceps muscle bulk, strength and flexibility are often assessed and treated during the rehabilitation process. Evaluation of lower limb biomechanics (posture) can also be informative to the onset of the condition. The use of ice, anti-inflammatories and rest can also be advised alongside other treatment options.

Sever’s Disease

This is another growth plate injury where the heel bone grows more rapidly than the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments causing excessive stretching of these soft tissue structures. During sports where running (on hard surface in particular) and jumping are common and activities such as dance or gymnastics (stretching) symptoms can be aggravated

Symptoms include:

  • Heel Pain, worsening with running and jumping but eases with rest
  • swelling, or redness in one or both heels
  • Tenderness and tightness in the back of the heel, worsened by squeezing the heel
  • Trouble walking; on hard surface, for long periods in rigid shoes
  • Walking or running with a limp or on tip toes

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