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Taking a look at Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome

What is it?

Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome (SLJS) is a knee disorder seen in adolescence whereby the growth plate at the bottom of the patellar (kneecap) becomes irritated and inflamed due to overuse.  Growth plates are, as the name suggests, areas near the ends of bones where growth happens, these areas are weaker than mature bone and therefore more susceptible to injury under high loads. 

High impact activities such as running, jumping and squatting that cause repetitive amounts of high stress to the knee and kneecap are the main cause.  Also, kids who are going through growth spurts are very susceptible.

Taking a look at Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome 1

How do you know if you might have it?

  • Swelling and tenderness around the kneecap especially at the lower (inferior) end
  • A swollen or bony bump at the bottom of the kneecap
  • Pain that increases with exercise or activities like running, climbing stairs, or jumping. 
  • Pain that gets more severe when kneeling or squatting 
  • Pain with resisted knee extension
  • Commonly seen in sports such as soccer, hockey, athletics, gymnastics, basketball


Treatment focuses on reducing pain and irritation to the kneecap by reducing/modifying the painful activity, to allow the knee to rest and heal.  Icing, anti-inflammatories, as well as light stretching and exercise can all be used in conjunction with rest to provide the fastest recovery. An individualised rehab program to restore range, strength and endurance of the knee and surrounding joints are key to enabling you to return to your desired sport and other activities.


SLJS has a good prognosis when diagnosed early and generally will take around 8-12 weeks to treat.  SLJS will generally resolve when the teen is finished growing and usually doesn’t leave any lasting problems.

For more information, or if you are interested in learning how we can help you manage your pain or an injury, call us on 1300 012 273 or head to