Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common
cause of knee pain in growing adolescents. It is an inflammation of the area
just below the knee where the tendon from the kneecap (patellar tendon)
attaches to the shinbone (tibia).
Osgood-Schlatter disease most often
occurs during growth spurts, when bones, muscles, tendons, and other structures
are changing rapidly. Because physical activity puts additional stress on bones
and muscles, children who participate in athletics — especially running and
jumping sports – are at an increased risk for this condition. However, less
active adolescents may also experience this problem.
Painful symptoms are often brought
on by running, jumping, and other sports-related activities. In some cases,
both knees have symptoms, although one knee may be worse than the other.
Knee pain and tenderness at the tibial tubercle
Swelling at the tibial tubercle
Tight muscles in the front or back of the thigh
Treatment for Osgood-Schlatter
disease focuses on reducing pain and swelling. This typically requires limiting
exercise activity Untill the patient can enjoy activity without discomfort or
significant pain afterwards. In some cases, rest from activity is required for
several months, followed by a strength conditioning program. However, if the
patient does not have a large amount of pain or a limp, participation in sports
may be safe to continue.
Stretching exercises. Stretches
for the front and back of the thigh (quadriceps and hamstring muscles) may
help relieve pain and prevent the disease from returning.
anti-inflammatory medication. Drugs
like ibuprofen and naproxen reduce pain and swelling.