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Sci/Tech

What a pain in the knee

Scientists at Aarhus University find that 'growing pains' may lead to osteoarthritis


Study finds that a tenth of teenagers have a daily twinge in their knee (Photo: Colourbox)

July 30, 2014
19:00

by Jessica Wells


A new study, conducted by scientists at Aarhus University and published in the BMC Pediatrics journal, has found that growing pains experienced as a child can lead to osteoarthritis if not properly treated.

The Danish study, which examined 3,000 young adults between the ages of 12 and 19, found that a third had suffered pain in their knees and for half of them the pain did not disappear.

Tenth have daily twinges
Dr Michael Skovdal Rathleff, a physiotherapist at Aarhus University noted that “seven percent of the adolescents experience daily knee pain” and that “more than half still have problems after two years”.

In fact the study found that just under a tenth of teenagers have daily twinges in their knee and that it is becoming increasingly common for knee pain to be misdiagnosed as ‘growing pains’.

Dr Rathleff has argued that we need to take knee pain more seriously, as over a quarter of the elderly who have received knee replacements due to osteoarthritis suffered knee pains in their youth.

Early treatment necessary
The knee pain, which is similar to the pain someone would feel if they were waiting for a cruciate knee ligament reconstruction, needs to be treated early before it becomes chronic.

It can be treated and often stopped with the right training and Dr Rathleff has implored that physiotherapists and doctors work together on diagnosing and providing the right treatment to those who suffer from the pain.