• An inflammation of the area just below the knee
  • Usually affects adolescents experiencing growth spurts during puberty
  • Usually resolves on its own, once the child’s bones stop growing


  • Knee or leg pain
  • Swelling, tenderness, or increased warmth under the knee
  • Pain that gets worse with exercise or high-impact activities
  • Limping after physical activity


  • Thigh muscles (quadriceps) pull on the tendon during activities
  • This repeated stress can cause the tendon to pull away from the shinbone
  • Caused by small injuries to the knee area from overuse

Risk Factors

  • Develops in boys between ages 13 and 14
  • Develops in girls between ages 11 and 12
  • Most commonly occurs in children who participate in sports like:
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Soccer
  • Long-distance running
  • Gymnastics
  • Figure skating

Diagnostic Tests

  • Physical examination
  • Bone X-ray to rule out other causes

Checking the child’s knee for:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain


  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Physical therapy
  • Resting the knee and decreasing activity
  • Putting ice over the painful area 2 to 4 times a day
  • Surgery maybe needed in rare cases
  • Wrapping the knee or wearing a knee brace
  • Stretching


  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)

Lifestyle Management

  • Rest the joint
  • Ice the affected area
  • Stretch leg muscles
  • Protect the knee
  • Try a patellar tendon strap
  • Cross-train