Conditions + Treatments

Shin Splints in Children

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Contact the Lower Extremity Program

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If your teen or child has been diagnosed with shin splints, we at Children’s Hospital Boston know that he’s experiencing discomfort, as well as some disappointment that his sports training has been disrupted. We’ll approach your child’s treatment with sensitivity and support—to get him back into sports safely.

What are shin splints?

With more and more kids playing organized sports, there’s been a rise in the number of overuse injuries among children and adolescents. As a common overuse injury, shin splints occur largely among runners—but sometimes among aerobics participants and athletes whose sports involve quick cutting and sideways motions. At Children’s, our patients with shin splints are usually teenagers or post-adolescents, since this is the age group that’s most likely to run and train competitively.

•   Shin splints and other overuse injuries are sports-related microtraumas (small injuries) that result from repetitively using the same parts of the body.
•   “Shin splints” is a catch-all term for tenderness and pain in the area of the shin bone (tibia). Pain can be:
          -   along or behind the inside edge of the tibia (posteromedial)
          -   along the tibia in the front/outside of the lower leg (anterolateral)

Learn more about the symptoms and causes of shin splints.

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