Consultation patterns of children and adolescents with knee pain in UK general practice: analysis of medical records

Zoe A. Michaleff*, Paul Campbell, Joanne Protheroe, Amit Rajani, Kate M. Dunn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Knee problems are common in children and adolescents. Despite this, little is known about the epidemiology of knee problems in children and adolescents who consult in general practice. The aim of this study was to describe consultations by children and adolescents about knee problems in general practice, and examine patterns of patient presentations and consultations by age group, sex and area of socio-economic deprivation. Methods: Consultations records specific to the knee region were extracted from a general practice consultation database (CiPCA) over a one year period. Knee consultation codes were organised into ‘symptom’ or ‘diagnosis’ (sub-categorised: ‘trauma’, ‘non-trauma’) categories. Descriptive statistics were used to describe patient presentations and number of consultations overall, and stratified analysis carried out on age group, sex, and area of socio-economic deprivation. Results: Out of all musculoskeletal consultations, knee problems were the fourth most common patient presentation, responsible for the second highest number of consultations. Patient presentations and consultations increased up to age 12-15 years and then stabilised. Symptoms codes e.g. ‘knee pain’ were used more commonly than diagnosis codes e.g. ‘knee sprain’ overall. However, symptom code use declined as age increased, more symptom codes were used in girls compared to boys, and more diagnosis codes were used in patients from areas of high socio-economic deprivation. Conclusions: This study provides insight into the epidemiology of knee problems in children and adolescents in general practice. Future research is needed to improve our understanding of the knee problems encountered by GPs, and the influence socio-economic deprivation has on consultations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number239
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


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