Sports Injuries Affecting Children

The following injuries more commonly affect children and adolescent young athletes only.



Osgood Schlatter disease

Osgood Schlatter disease causes gradual onset pain just below the knee. Specifically, pain occurs over the bony part at the top of the shin bone called the tibial tuberosity.

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Sinding-Larsen-Johansson Lesion or syndrome affects children and young athletes causing pain at the front of the knee, at the lowest point of the patella or kneecap. Symptoms are very similar to Jumper’s knee, but the injury is more like Osgood Schlatter disease in how it occurs.

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Chondromalacia patella

Chondromalacia patella (CMP) is damage to the articular cartilage under the kneecap. Symptoms are similar to patellofemoral pain as the kneecap rubs on the bone underneath causing swelling and pain.

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Foot & heel

Sever’s disease

Sever’s disease, also called calcaneal apophysitis is an overuse injury and a common cause of pain at the back of the heel in children aged 8 to 15 years. Here we explain the symptoms, causes, and treatment, as well as how to manage training for young athletes who suffer with it.

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Tarsal coalition

Tarsal coalition is a fusion or sticking together of the tarsal bones in the foot. The tarsals are 7 bones located at the back of the foot. It is a congenital disease meaning you are born with it. Midfoot pain may appear in adolescents with this condition, but symptoms may not show until later in some people.

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Hip pain is probably one of the more common complaints in young athletes who are still growing.

Perthes’ disease

Perthes’ disease causes hip pain in children, most commonly boys aged between four and ten years old, but can also occasionally occur in younger children and teenagers. Tiredness and groin pain are two common symptoms, and they may have a noticeable limp.

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Slipped capital femoral epiphysis

This injury occurs when there is a fracture at the neck or top of the thigh bone. The injury happens to the epiphysis which is where the bone grows as children grow older. More common in boys aged 11 to 16 years old it occurs gradually over time. Hip and groin pain which may radiate into the knee are major symptoms. The child will often walk with a limp.

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Ilium apophysitis

Ilium apophysitis is an overuse injury that occurs in children and adolescents at the front of the pelvis. It particularly affects those who participate in a lot of sport. Apophysitis of the Ilium typically results in dull pain at the front of the hip. There will be tenderness at a specific point on the front of the hip. Pain usually gets worse with activity and there may be some mild swelling.

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The Back

Back pain in children

Back pain in children stems from fairly innocuous, non-specific causes. For example, growing pains, insufficient backpack, poor posture, or even playing video games for prolonged periods. However, outside of these causes, and any other easily determinable cause such as a minor sporting injury, back pain in kids can indicate underlying issues that require medical attention.

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Distal radial epiphysis injury

A distal radial epiphysis injury is an injury to the growth plate at the wrist end of the radius bone in the forearm. Overuse in young athletes is the most common cause.

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