Son Complaining of Knee Pain

Updated on January 28, 2009
A.C. asks from Burlington, KY
4 answers

You all have helped me so much with past requests that I am back again. My three year old son randomly complains that his knees are hurting. Sometimes it is so bad that he is sobbing. I have looked at his knees so many times but I cannot find anything wrong with them. My younger brother experienced severe growing pains as a child and he mostly complained of knee pain but he was much older than my son. He is small for his age so I thought maybe it could be a growth spurt and it is hurting him. I give hime Tylenol when he says that it hurts really bad but I don't want to give it to him all the time. Does anyone have any suggestions of what it could be or how to help him deal with the pain? Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

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answers from Cleveland on

I can tell you that my 3 year old complains of the same thing. There are times when we are getting ice cream that he won't even eat the ice cream because he is crying so much. But, it also seems like when he complains in the middle of the night, that he will go back to sleep as soon as I have given him Tylenol so now I only give him about 1/4 dose. He is supposed to go to the doctor today (if the roads aren't shut down) and I was going to ask her about it. If I get any other answer than it is growing pains, I will write you back.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I have had that problem all my life for as long as I could remember. Come to find out through MRIs, I was born with less cartiledge than normal so it started deteriorating pretty early on. My knees would just ache & throb so bad I was in tears over it too. One thing that mom did that helped was warm baths with epsom salt in them or giving me ibuprofen since that helped take down any swelling.



answers from Terre Haute on

I don't want to scare you but you should have your son checked for Perthes disease. My husband was diagnosed with this at you son's age. What is Perthes??

Perthes is a condition in children characterized by a temporary loss of blood supply to the hip. Without an adequate blood supply, the rounded head of the femur (the " ball " of the " ball and socket " joint of the hip) dies. The area becomes intensely inflamed and irritated.

Although the term 'disease' is still used, Perthes is really a complex process of stages. Treatment of Perthes may require periods of immobilization or limitations on usual activities. The long-term prognosis is good in most cases. After 18 months to 2 years of treatment, most children return to normal activities without major limitations.

Perthes disease usually is seen in children between 4 years and 10 years of age. It is five times more common in boys than in girls. It was originally described nearly a century ago as a peculiar form of childhood arthritis of the hips.

The child may show signs of limping and may complain of mild pain. The child may have had these symptoms intermittently over a period of weeks or even months. Pain sometimes is caused by muscle spasms that may result from irritation around the hip. Pain may be felt in other parts of the leg, such as the groin, thigh, or knee. When the hip is moved, the pain worsens. Rest often relieves the pain.

X-rays usually diagnose the condition. The child with Perthes can expect to have several X-rays taken over the course of treatment, which may be two years or longer. The X-rays usually will look worse before gradual improvement is seen. Girls tend to have more extensive involvement; therefore, the expectations (prognosis) are generally poorer than with boys.

For very young children (those 2 to 6 years of age) who show very few changes on their initial X-rays, treatment is usually simply observation.

The older child is treated in order to improve the hip's range of motion.

I hope this helps it's better to be safe then sorry because this can lead to bad arthritis my husband is proof of that.



answers from Cincinnati on

I didn't have this problem with my son, but one of his best friends at preschool did. They use to massage the area it hurt for a few minutes when she woke up, let her stand up slowly and stretched out her legs often. I'm not sure if it really heped any or not, but it helped everyone watching her in pain feel as if they helped some. Good luck!

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