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Growing pains/sore knees

(15 Posts)
1fedupmama Fri 11-Mar-16 22:36:58

We have had many trips to the doctors over these 'sore knees' & so far we are coming up empty.
Ds1 (age 3) has been complaining about sore knees for about a year now, mostly at night time and/or after a busy day or exercise etc. So my first thought was simply, he had done too much that day. But this seems to be happening a lot more.
On our trips to the doctors they have said it is just him doing too much & tiring his little legs out or growing pains, but I keep thinking there is more to it.
Most nights he is completely inconsolable, he screams the house down in pain, he limps and asks to be carried to bed. Other nights like tonight, he wakes himself up screaming in pain & I feel so helpless.
Rubbing/massaging them makes them worse, I can't touch them atall except for 'the magic kiss' (mummy's kisses make everything better) all I can do is cuddle him in hope that it comforts him enough to go back to sleep. Which usually results in him spending the night in bed with me, sos not to wake his brother (they share a room) as he will wake up a few times in the night.
I try calpol, ibuprofen, he gets bathed in muscle relaxing bubble bath & it doesn't seem to be getting any better.
Anyone any other advice except going back to pester the doctor again?
Anyone else's child had difficulty with growing pains or sore knees like this?

FuzzyOwl Fri 11-Mar-16 22:45:54

I did as a child and spent many years in and out of the doctor's surgery. Originally it was my knees but as a teenager it was also elbows and then ankles, wrists, hands and feet. A couple of decades later, I was diagnosed with a couple of autoimmune conditions and that is why I have arthritis.

I would ask your doctor to run full blood tests and refer to a rheumatologist and immunologist. Good luck and I hope you get an answer for your son.

IndomitabIe Fri 11-Mar-16 22:51:06

DS has flat feet which sometimes cause him to wake in the night screaming with sore feet/ankles.

He had a referral to the mobility clinic for insoles from about 18 months, which made things much better. He was also seen by an orthopaedic surgeon, who was very polite about it being clearly such a mild case of hypermobility as to not being worth his time!

DS's issues are very occasional now (nearly 5). Hypermobility is worth asking about (or asking for a referral to a specialist).

1fedupmama Fri 11-Mar-16 22:51:26

It has always been the knees, particularly the right knee that causes him a lot of bother.
He went to bed absolutely fine tonight & then work up screaming the house down, He gets himself into a right wee state over it, which is understandable but totally heartbreaking to watch.

SmellySourdough Fri 11-Mar-16 22:58:38

have you seen an orthopaedic consultant?
my dc had what I first thought was growing pains, but it turned out to be a bone condition.
the consultant we see says that there is no such thing as growing pain. pain is a symptom of something . usually with dc it's injury or strain or cramps. or as another poster says feet positioning.
mostly pain is symetric (apart from obvious injuries).
unexplained regular pain, that's more one sided needs to looked at.

1fedupmama Fri 11-Mar-16 23:03:47

Everytime we have been to see a doctor it has only ever been a GP.
I think I will take you all up on your advice & ask to speak to a specialist and/or get a second opinion.

This isn't the first time I've had to demand to be referred to someone else got my son, after not being satisfied with the answers I was given & they got a big fat 'I told u so' after the last time.

Dragongirl10 Fri 11-Mar-16 23:05:39

My daughter went through the same symptoms, starting at age 3 and a half. It was tefrrifying the amount of pain she was in in her knees and also hips. We went to countless doctors and specialists.
Eventually a physiotherapist diagnosed extreme hypermobility, she was fitted for orthotics insoles which she had to wear in her shoes, all day every day, which restricted the excessive mobility in her ankles knees and hip joints.
We were told what to avoid, excessive exercise in a short period of time, gymnastics, yoga type movements, restrict trampolining to a few minutes.
Never to pull on her joints or swing her by her arms or legs no roughousing from other kids.

Also we were told that 30 mins exercise for her is equivalent to 5x that of another child so to always allow for that, and ensure early bedtimes.Much more sleep is necessary to compensate for the huge strain on the body.

She is now almost 10, the improvement following the orthotics was huge over the first few months, she still has them,( updated every 6 months for growing,) There have been ups and downs, at growth spurts she hurts, cold viruses can attack her joints and cause pain at night BUT the improvement has been steady and consistent, now she plays regular suitable sports on teams and is coping well at school. In Reception she was in so much pain she only managed 4 mornings a week for the whole year!

The orthotics are expensive but totally necessary, we couldn't get them on the NHS.

We have been told she will eventually grow out of the problems by about 30 as she naturally gets stiffer with age.

It was incredibly difficult to find out what was wrong and we were told repeatedly 'growing pains' However the physio and the 2 podiatrists we have seen, all said they see hundreds of children with varying degrees of Hypermobility which if left unchecked caused all sorts of issues as the grow up, long term bad backs, neck problems etc.

I suggest go to a good paedeatric physio and get your ds tested.

Good Luck

MarkRuffaloCrumble Fri 11-Mar-16 23:09:39

I know how worrying it is when your child isn't right and the GP doesn't take it seriously. You have my sympathies.

Ask for a full set of blood tests to show any vitamin, iron deficiencies, thyroid function, inflammation etc. My DS is 11 and has been complaining of aching legs for a few months, my dp used to have growing pains but I never had them so I accepted that maybe that was it. Eventually I rejected that idea and took him for a blood test.

It showed vit D deficiency which causes leg pains and tiredness. Might be something that simple.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Fri 11-Mar-16 23:12:01

Like smelly said, I think growing pains is a feeble diagnosis and while growing up may take its toll, it shouldn't hurt.

SmellySourdough Fri 11-Mar-16 23:13:03

absolutely yes to physio. actually it was the (private) physio who did an examination when the pains didn't get better and gp didn't seem to care less.
she wrote us a detailed letter with her suspicions which helped get a referral to the right specialists,

3boys3dogshelp Fri 11-Mar-16 23:13:23

We had months of problems with ds2's knee pains when he was a similar age to your ds - he was examined 3 times for knee pain and nobody could find anything.
The 4th dr (paediatric orthopaedic consultant) took about 30 seconds to realise he actually had hip pain which was causing referred pain in his knee. X-ray showed inflammation in his hip joint, suspected to be post viral (there are other more long term causes of hip joint inflammation in children-perthes disease etc).It settled quite quickly with strict rest and pain relief.

1fedupmama Fri 11-Mar-16 23:18:15

Thanks very much for the advice.
I will contact the GPs surgery first thing Monday morning for another appointment & ask about a blood test aswell as seeing a specialist.
I better get off & try get some sleep as I fear I may not be getting an awful lot of it tonight.

imip Sat 12-Mar-16 07:50:56

Yy to hyper mobility. My dd also has it, along with custom orthotics, occupational therapy and physio. Dd has it in her wrists and ankles and will probably have to begin typing instead of writing due to constant pain. If you're getting nowhere with the gp, you could just get a one-off session with a private physio who can diagnose. This is what we did. Unfortunately, you need to be really pushy :-(

VertigoNun Sat 12-Mar-16 07:55:57

Myself and my children were fobbed off with growing pains.

Do the knees bend backwards, if so there is no cure only physio to strengthen the supportive muscles.

1fedupmama Sat 12-Mar-16 08:42:35

No knees don't bend backwards, they look perfectly normal, if it wasn't for the constant moaning & crying you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with them atall.

The last time I had a problem with the doctor I ended up screaming in her face that I needed to speak to someone else, I was referred & proved I was right to doubt her, so she got a massive 'I told u so!' (Maybe not as nicely put as that tho!) so being pushy is not a problem when it comes to my children.

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