Actually, they are NOT growing pains.

About 2 weeks ago (probably August 10th or 11th) Trevor crashed pretty hard while riding his scooter with some friends.  He landed on his knee and scraped it up pretty bad.  It didn’t seem to slow him down during the daytime, but when it came time to go to football camp he of course complained that his knee hurt and that he shouldn’t go.  We sent him.

Several days pass…again, his knee is not slowing him down.  He’s heading out with friends to go on bike rides, run around the neighborhood, partake in air-soft gun battles, go swimming, play basketball, play street soccer, skateboard, yada yada yada.  He’s a very active guy!

Time to go to soccer practice, “Mom, my knee hurts, can I stay home?”  NOPE.  If you are well enough to play all day long then you are well enough to go practice with your team.

It’s now Wednesday August 17th….he comes home from soccer practice and says “Coach Fernando says I need to put some arnica on my knee to help it”.  I don’t have any nor do I have a chance to go to any stores to get some, so I consult with my sister-in-law who is also a massage therapist thinking SHE would surely have something like that.  She does, but it’s 9pm at night, we’re in bed, we decide we’ll pick it up the next morning.

Thursday the 18th.  Trevor walks over to his auntie’s house and picks up a few sample packets.  The directions say to massage it in, spreading the cream about 3″ beyond the injured area- Trevor tells me it’s pretty much his whole kneecap and I don’t see anything wrong with it (no obvious bulges or bruises or anything) so I massage it over his entire kneecap and surrounding area.  We repeat this about 3 times throughout the day.

Friday the 19th.  Trevor has a soccer game- the first game of his tournament- at 11am.  I give him a good arnica “massage” first thing in the morning and he takes some arnica with him to apply more just before the game.  Game time- I can see that he’s limping and not giving it 100%.  We ride home after the game and he tells me that his knee hurts and that the coaches said he should ice it.  After we get home I take a look at it and it still looks and feels fine to me.  But when I compare his two knees together, the right knee definitely shows some swelling.  Below the knee cap area, not above it where he says the pain is.  Hmmmm….  So we ice it and we apply more arnica and take it easy that night.  (Of course HE wants to go ride bikes with friends and partake in another shootout game in someone’s backyard…so it can’t hurt THAT bad.)

Saturday the 20th.  Trevor has 2 games scheduled.  The first is at 10:30am.   He plays defense- his least favorite positions.  Hates it. Limping, gimping not giving it his all again.  Whenever he sits out he puts an ice pack on his leg.  After the game we grab lunch and apply more arnica.  The next game is at 3:00 (this is the 95-degree day) and same thing- plays defense, hates it, limping, gimping, not giving it his all.  We get home and after icing it and relaxing for a bit we let him go to the pool.  Can definitely see some swelling so we decide it’s time to introduce Ibuprofen to the mix.  Oh, and bedtime at 7:30.

Sunday the 21st.  Trevor has 1 for sure game scheduled at 8am.  We get up early, rub the arnica, pack the arnica in his bag for him to rub in later, pack some ice packs and cold water and all that good stuff and dose him with ibuprofen.  His knee is definitely swollen but when not compared to his other knee looks like a normal knee.  He begs the coaches to pull him off defense and let him play forward or midfield (which means A LOT of running).  By the time the game starts he says he feels great- no pain- he’s ready to go!  And he does- he plays midfield and rocks the game- playing the best he’s played all season!  His team won by the way (the only game they won in this tournament).  Afterwards the coaches ask us what the miracle drug was- and we say ibuprofen! Oh, and since his team won, they were in the finals- which meant one more game- at 2pm.

After the game we go to Rite-Aid and pick up a compression knee-support and have him wear it for the rest of the day.  We ice his leg at home, rub in more arnica, and keep him rested until the next game.  As we head out the door we do another dose of Ibuprofen, too.  He didn’t give his all this game.  All the kids were all exhausted and it was 86 degrees and they were just beat.  The final score of that game 3-2.  They lost but sure put up a good fight!

By the time we got home his knee was definitely looking more swollen so I decided it was time to call the doctor’s office.  They were able to see him the next day, Monday, and after an x-ray and exam they decided it’s Bursitis.  I googled it at home and found it interesting that it’s also aggrivated by kneeling and squatting.  Trevor is always doing that- either on the floor or on the couch or even sitting at the dining room table- he always has his feet tucked under him which causes stress on the knee joint.  And of course running and soccer can cause it.   And of course back-to-back extreme games of soccer on an already aggrivated bursa really doesn’t help!

I admitted to the doctor that we had him in a tournament all weekend and loaded him up on Ibuprofen to get him through it- he didn’t say that was fine, but didn’t get upset with us and understood.  Just said to take the next few days easy, and to continue icing and taking ibuprofen, but only take the ibuprofen at night so that he’s aware of the pain.

Trevor also read the Mayo Clinic article that said to not be squatting or kneeling- keep his knee off the ground is a good rule to follow!

This morning the swelling has gone down significantly.  We’ve pulled him from soccer practice this week….and are keeping him out of football conditioning this week (which is optional anyway and we figure his soccer running has him conditioned well enough!  ha!).  No playdates with friends running around the neighborhood being all crazy.  He’s not liking it very much but the improvement of his knee looks really good after just having 40 hours off.

This is from today:

Here, let me mark the areas you need to look at:

Here’s another view- this is how I was really able to see the difference (I drew red lines to show the tendon area):

Anyway, here’s a link to “knee bursitis”:

He’ll resume his normal schedule next week with soccer and football.  I think if we can keep him rested the remainder of this week, and really work on keeping him off his knees (and not do 5 soccer games in a 52 hour window)….we’ll be good to go!