What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease?
Osgood-Schlatter disease is a painful enlargement of the bump of the shin bone (tibia) just below the knee. This bump is called the tibial tuberosity. The tendon from the kneecap (patella) inserts here. Osgood-Schlatter disease is commonly seen in growing (usually appears during a period of rapid growth), active adolescents, and most often seen in children between the ages of 10 and 15.
Osgoof -Schlatter disease is caused by overuse of the knee in normal childhood and sporting activities, for example, increased tension and pressure applied to the tibia during activities like running and jumping. The repetitive stresses of these activities produce inflammation where the tendon attaches to the bone. It is possible that muscles are too tight in the front of the thigh, the back of the thigh, or in the calf during a growth spurt.
- Complain of a painful bump below the kneecap.
- A bony enlargement at the top of the shin bone.
The pain will sometimes come and go and usually is gone by the time your child has stopped growing. Sometimes young adults can have pain in the area of the bump. Your child will always have a bump even after the pain has gone away. As the child gets older and past the growth spurt, symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease go away and there is usually no longer a problem. It commonly takes about 6 to 24 months from the start of the symptoms.
- Clinical examination
- X-rays used to confirm the diagnosis or to run out other problems
- Your child may need to rest or do activities that do not cause knee pain. However, the best way to avoid the pain of Osgood-Schlatter disease is to use exercise to build muscle strength and avoid overtraining.
- Ice packs or ice massage can be applied to the knee for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to 3 days or until pain goes away. (ice massage is performed by filling several paper cups with water and placing them in a freezer. When frozen, the cup’s rim is torn off and the ice is then directly applied to the sore area until the area becomes numb.)
- If the knee is swollen, it should be elevated by placing a pillow under it.
- Knee Strap / Patella Brace should be worn during exercise.
- Antiflammatory pain medicine such as ibuprofen or may prescribe another medicine.
- Stretching: quadriceps and hamstring stretching are recommended to help with tight muscles.
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