Sinding-Larsen-Johansson Syndrome

Also known as: SLJ syndrome

What is Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome?

Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome, or SLJ syndrome, is an overuse injury that impacts the growth plate at the bottom of the kneecap. Specifically, it involves the patellar tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin bone. It’s most common in active kids who play sports.

What causes Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome?

SLJ syndrome almost exclusively impacts children who play a lot of sports or are quite active. The repetitive motions that can lead to the condition over time include jumping, running, kicking or other activities where you produce a lot of force with your knees or legs. Children with cerebral palsy are also at an increased risk of developing SLJ syndrome.

What are the symptoms of Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome?

The most common symptoms of SLJ syndrome include sharp pain in the lower kneecap, tenderness, swelling and difficulty participating in activities or sports. Children with SLJ syndrome may have trouble bending the knee.

How can Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome affect children?

SLJ syndrome occurs most commonly in children. It is typically seen between the ages of 10 and 14.

What are Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome treatments?

SLJ syndrome is rarely serious. Many cases resolve on their own with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers. The child may need to take a break from their favorite sport while the bone and tendon are aggravated. In more severe cases, physical therapy may be prescribed. Surgery for SLJ syndrome is not typically recommended in children.

Reviewed by: Alexandra Lewis, CPNP-PC

This page was last updated on: January 18, 2024 02:13 PM

Pediatric Orthopedics, Sports Medicine & Spinal Surgery

Children's orthopedic care needs are different from those of adults. Read more here to learn how our services are tailored to address the unique needs of children and teens.

Learn More