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Issue 17: Children & Teenagers


A belated Happy New Year!

Today we’re going to dive into some of the common conditions that our youth athletes experience.

As you can probably imagine, the average child’s body goes through a lot. From running around in the school playground to playing for their local sports clubs, it’s only natural for children to be at risk of injury.

In this post, we’re going to delve into a handful of conditions affecting our young people all the way up to age 18.


What are the primary factors causing injuries in children/teenagers?

→ Biological Age vs Chronological Age: The individuals age in years vs the body’s physiological age.

→ Maturation: This relates to the child’s stage of puberty, physicality, social and psychological status.

→ Growth: Looking into hormones levels, body mass (muscle, fat, bone density), size, shape, height and body composition.

→ Youth: The period between childhood and adulthood.

→ Relative Age Effect: Athletic and academic advantages based upon the time of year you were born (summer vs winter).

→ Hormones: Cause changes to the connective tissue and increase joint laxity.

→ Nutrients: Deficiency has been associated to bone growth and adolescent awkwardness.

→ Fatigue/Burnout: Predisposes growing athletes to traumatic injuries.



Buckle (Torus) Fractures:

Often the most common type of fracture in children, a torus is an incomplete fracture caused from falling onto the hand, causing one side of the bone to bend without a fracture through the entire bone.

Epiphyseal Fractures:

The epiphyseal plate (growth plate) is the cartilage formed at the end of a bone which is fully formed by the age of 20 in both males and females. Due to the fragility of the bone, the classification of fracture varies a lot. The most common, (type II out of V) extends through the metaphysis (the bone located above the epiphysis), producing a chipped fracture of the metaphysis.

Heel Problems:

Calcaneal Apophysitis known as ‘Sever’s Disease’:

The premature ‘Achilles’ pain in children, is caused by repetitive stress placed upon the growth plate of the heel which can result in swelling and inflammation. Commonly noticed after exercise in sports such as rugby, football and gymnastics.

Relief for this condition can include the child using a gel heel pad to offload pressure in the heel, adding taped compression to the ankle or stretches to help with the foot and lower leg muscles.

Knee Problems:

Osgood-Schlatter Disease/Osteochondrosis/Traction Apophysitis:

Located at the tibial tuberosity just below the patella, Osgood-Schlatter is a disease causing swelling and irritation at the growth plate of tibia. Most commonly seen in teenagers, this condition is often the result of repetitive pulling of the patellar tendon which can develop into a bumpy appearance to the tibial tuberosity. Due to its nature, teens with the condition often have tightness into the quadriceps and hamstrings as a result. Similar to Sever’s – Osgood-Schlatter is often worsened by activity.

Sinding-Larsen-Johansson Syndrome/Juvenile Osteochondrosis:

The best friend of Osgood-Schlatters - Sinding-Larsen’s occurs during a teenager’s growth spurt where the inferior pole of the patella (bottom of the kneecap) becomes painful and swollen. Despite being self-limiting, complete recovery is expected when there is closure to the patella growth plate. Tightness of the surrounding musculature is common due to the inflexibility of the knee joint from altering stress of the patellofemoral joint.

We hope this post was a helpful read. We often see concerned parents in the clinic worried about an injury their child has or might be developing. We’re here to help. If you think your child may have a condition like above, why not bring them in for a chat? Our Havant and Frome clinics are open 4 days a week. Enquire today!





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