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What are growing pains?

What are growing pains?
Typically the term growing pain is in reference to inflammation of a growth plate near the tendinous attachment. The most common form of growing pains occurs in the knee (when the patella tendon attaches) as well as the heel (where the Achilles tendon attaches).

Typically the term growing pain is in reference to inflammation of a growth plate near the tendinous attachment. The most common form of growing pains occurs in the knee (when the patella tendon attaches) as well as the heel (where the Achilles tendon attaches). Typically the pain will begin as children reach their growth spurt. The region where the tendon attaches will become tender to the touch. Children may experience pain with running and jumping. The most common sports associated with these types of injuries are basketball and soccer. Soccer tends to affect the heel, and basketball tends to affect the knee. We generally do obtain x-rays to evaluate the growth center-which is just beneath the tendinous attachment. We will often see mild widening of this growth plate due to the forces that are pulling on it. Treatment consists of rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy. The physical therapy I think helps strengthen the surrounding musculature, which will reduce the forces on those growth centers. Ultimately, as the growth plate ossifies the pain will usually subside. I encourage all parents to not just right off your child complaints of bone pain. There are dangerous conditions which can mimic this entity and I think it’s best to have them evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon.

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Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine