Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease is a common condition that affects boys who are entering or about to enter puberty, particularly those who are active in sports.

Repetitive stress on the growth plate at the tibial tuberosity (top of the tibia) causes the condition, which leads to inflammation and pain.

While the condition eventually eases as the boy advances through puberty, the changes it causes to the shape of the tibial head can cause issues for the rest of one's life.

Tweens and Teens

Symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter Disease typically include pain, swelling, and tenderness in the area just below the kneecap. The knee can also lock up, preventing the afflicted from being able to straighten their leg until the muscles relax.

All the above symptoms may worsen with activity, such as running or jumping, and may improve with rest. In most cases, a visible bump or prominence will permanently develop on the upper head of the tibia, or "shin bone".

Osgood-Schlatter Disease is most commonly seen in boys between the ages of 10 and 15, during a time of rapid growth and development. It is more common in boys than girls, and is often associated with activities that involve repetitive jumping or running, such as basketball or soccer.

While Osgood-Schlatter Disease can be painful and uncomfortable, it is generally not a serious condition and typically resolves on its own over time. However, there are several remedies and treatments that can help manage symptoms and promote healing.

Treatment for Children

One of the most important remedies for Osgood-Schlatter Disease is rest. Reducing or eliminating activities that aggravate the condition can help relieve pain and inflammation and allow the body to heal. Applying ice or a cold compress to the affected area can also help reduce pain and swelling.

Physical therapy can help stretch and strengthen the muscles around the knee joint. This often reduces stress on the growth plate and helps to relieve symptoms. Orthotics, such as shoe inserts or knee braces, can help support the knee joint and reduce stress on the growth plate.

In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to treat Osgood-Schlatter Disease. This may be recommended if conservative treatments are not effective, or if the condition is causing significant pain or interfering with the child's ability to participate in normal activities.

The health outlook for children with Osgood-Schlatter Disease is generally good. Most children experience a significant reduction in symptoms as they grow and their bodies continue to develop. However, some children may experience persistent pain or discomfort, and may require ongoing treatment or monitoring.

Overall, it is important for parents and caregivers to be aware of the signs and symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease, and to seek medical attention if their child is experiencing persistent pain or discomfort.

With proper care and treatment, most children with Osgood-Schlatter disease can continue to participate in sports and other activities, and can enjoy a healthy and active childhood.

Osgood-Schlatter disease in Adults

While Osgood-Schlatter Disease doesn't occur after puberty, it is generally easy to tell if an adult was afflicted with the disorder as a child due to their more pronounced-than-usual tibial tuberosity. This excessive bony protuberance can contribute to clicky knees where the patella doesn't track properly.

It can also cause significant pain when kneeling as an adult, especially on hard surfaces as the bony point pushes sharply against the attached tendons and ligaments. In order to avoid knee pain, lifelong vigilance is important for adults impacted by the effects of having Osgood-Schlatter Disease as a child.

Treatment for Adults

Regularly stretch the leg through the knee's full range of movement before and after exercise, and have your legs massaged, either by a friend or yourself or by a professional Remedial Massage Therapist. Also stretch after sitting or standing for long periods. Sitting in a deep-squat position can be particularly effective in keeping the knee-line straight.

If you have an aged male relative in a care facility and they suffered from Osgood-Schlatter Disease as a child, make sure that the facility staff are aware. Simple leg stretches a few times a week will improve your relative's mobility and quality of life.


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Andrew Thompson.

Andrew Thompson, Reef Studios Rockhampton