Sports Injury Clinic

Growth Related Injuries In Children-Osgood Schlatter Disease and Severs Disease

on October 26, 2020

You have probably heard the term ‘growing pains’. However, we find that people are often confused by this term. Just what is a growing pain?! Well, there are two very common ones. These are Osgood Schlatter Disease and Severs Disease.

Common Injuries to Children

Children are less frequently injured but certain injuries can be severe. Children go through many adolescent changes that leave the body vulnerable to injury. These injuries have been termed ‘growing pains’ but we are now able to be a little more specific to these injuries. The severity of these injuries cannot be understated. It has been said that any child suffering should take one year away from sport. Whilst this view may not be the case as we now have better understanding, any child suspecting the injuries should be seen by a specialist immediately. Below we have tried to summarise the two main conditions we see at Jon W Sports Injury.

Osgood Schlatters: Area Affected – KNEE

This is a condition caused by damage to the tibial tuberosity (growth plate) below the knee. The muscles of the thigh cross the knee and attach to the tibial tuberosity. This area of the knee is not yet strong in the developing child and so is unable to withstand excessive force without the chance of damage. Extensive use of the thigh pulls on the growth plate and causes damage. This makes the condition very common in football players aged 10-16 years old.

  • Symptoms to watch out for: Pain on base and just below the knee cap. Pain will increase as activity continues. Very common if the child is going through a growth spurt (however, this is not always the case).
  • Treatment: Rest, Ice and see a specialist immediately.
  • Important stretch: thigh stretch




Severs Disease : Area Affected – HEEL

Similar to Osgood Schlatters but the pain occurs in the heel rather than the knee. The calf muscle attaches to the Achilles tendon. This tendon fixes to the heel. Excessive use of the calf pulls at the heel and creates pain. The condition is very common in children who have undertaken a growth spurt or a large shoe size increase.

  • Symptoms: Pain on heel. Pain will increase as activity continues. It is common that children suffering will walk on the balls of their feet to ease the pain.
  • Treatment: Rest, Ice and see a specialist immediately.
  • Important stretch: calf and soleus
How Do We Prevent These Injuries?

Growth-related injuries are very difficult to prevent. Effective stretching and consistent cool downs after activity will certainly help to prevent excessive force being applied to the vulnerable areas. However, these injuries are predominantly caused by the natural development of a child. As a result, they are always very difficult to prevent and treatment required is specific to the individual. As a result, it is also very difficult to put a time frame on recovery. However, at Jon W Sports Injury we believe we have gained a lot of expertise in the area after seeing and effectively treating hundreds of patients with the condition. We believe it is firstly very important to educate the child in what is happening in their body. So often we see patients who have been told they have one of the above conditions but do not know why they are getting the pain. Their pain is being caused by another muscle away from the site of the pain and the understanding of this is vital for effective recovery.At Jon W Sports Injury we strongly believe in providing each child with an individual rehabilitation program designed for their stage of injury and needs for recovery. We also try to encourage a return to training as quickly as possible whilst emphasising the importance of any required rest.

If your child has any signs and symptoms of the above conditions we strongly recommend that you seek medical advice. We are unable to guarantee recovery times but what we do know is the quicker it is treated, the quicker it is resolved.

Interested in learning a little more about these conditions?

Check out the below webinars to see Jon discuss them further.

Osgood Schlatter Disease

Severs Disease