Good news: Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is far less terrible than its name. Though it’s one of the most common causes of knee pain in teenagers, it’s truly not a disease, but an overuse injury. OSD can be rather painful, but normally solves itself within 12 to 24 months.
Osgood-Schlatter disease is seen in the growing child and adolescent, especially those who take part in sports. This is an age where the bones are generally growing faster than the muscles and tendons. As an outcome, the muscles and tendons have a tendency to end up being tight. It is most common in young professional athletes who play games or sports that include running and jumping.
About Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Osgood-Schlatter disease is a swelling of the bone, cartilage, and/or tendon at the top of the shinbone (tibia), where the tendon from the kneecap (patella) attaches. Usually just one knee is affected.
OSD generally strikes active teenagers around the start of their development spurts, the around 2-year duration during which they grow most quickly. Development spurts can start at any time in between the ages of 8 and 13 for women, or 10 and 15 for boys. OSD has actually been more common in young boys, but as more women take part in sports, this is altering.
Teenagers increase their risk for OSD if they play sports including running, twisting, and jumping, such as basketball, football, beach ball, soccer, tennis, figure skating, and gymnastics. Physicians disagree about the mechanics that cause the injury but concur that overuse and physical stress are involved.
Growth spurts make kids susceptible due to the fact that their bones, muscles, and tendons are growing rapidly and not constantly at the exact same time. With workout, distinctions in size and strength between the muscle groups place uncommon stress on the growth plate at the top of the shinbone. (A growth plate is a layer of cartilage near the end of a bone where the majority of the bone’s growth takes place. It is weaker and more vulnerable to injury than the remainder of the bone.)
The majority of parents call the doctor after their child experiences periodic pain over a number of months. The pain may be anywhere from mild and felt just during activity to severe and consistent.
Other symptoms might include:
- pain that aggravates with exercise.
- relief from pain with rest.
- swelling or tenderness under the knee and over the shinbone.
- hopping after exercise.
- tightness of the muscles surrounding the knee (the hamstring and quadriceps muscles).
Symptoms that aren’t typical of OSD include pain at rest, thigh pain, or really severe pain that awakens kids from sleep or makes them cry. If your child has any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor.
How Is It Dealt with?
OSD generally goes away when a teen’s bones stop growing, generally in between 14 and 18 years. Up until then, only the symptoms need treatment. Rest is the crucial to pain relief. Parents find it a cruel irony that the most active kids are more than likely to obtain OSD– as well as the ones least likely to rest the affected area.
In mild cases, medical professionals recommend that kids limit the activities that cause pain. They may be able to continue their sports as long as the pain stays moderate. When symptoms flare, a time-out from sports may be necessary.
After your child gets back in the game, shock-absorbent insoles can reduce stress on the knee. Using moist heat for 15 minutes prior to or icing for 20 minutes after activity can lessen swelling. Wrestling gel pads and basketball knee pads (available at sporting products stores) can secure a tender shin from bumps and contusions. An excellent extending program, focusing primarily on the hamstring and quadriceps muscles, before and after activity is very important. Your doctor may likewise recommend over-the-counter pain medicines, such as ibuprofen, or prescription anti-inflammatory medications.
More severe cases need more rest, normally a total break from sports and physical activities. Active kids may find this really difficult, but the knee can not heal without rest. Some teenagers wind up with a cast or brace to impose the doctor’s orders. After an extended time off, kids will have to reduce back into activity carefully, generally with physical therapy to discover stretching and reinforcing exercises.
Long-term consequences of OSD are generally minor. Some kids may have an irreversible, painless bump below the knee. In rare cases, they might establish a painful, bony development below the kneecap that need to be surgically gotten rid of. About 60% of adults who had OSD as kids experience some pain with kneeling.