What is it?

Osgood Schlatter’s is an inflammation of the area below the knee which is known as the tibial tuberosity. This is where the tendon of the patella attaches itself to the tibia (the shin bone). It is a disease that affects the adolescents and young children who are experiencing growth. The muscles, tendons, bones and other various structures of these adolescents undergo rapid change. It occurs in children who are engaged in sports such as basketball, soccer, and ballet. These sports involve jumping, a sudden change in movement and running. This condition mostly heals itself as soon as the children’s bones and body tissues stop growing.

Causes Of The Osgood Schlatter’s

  • Age – Osgood Schlatter’s affects children of both sexes. Commonly boys are affected between the age of 12 to 14 and girls from the age of 10 to 13. In rare cases, Osgood Schlatter’s can occur in adults. This usually happens if the disease was missed during the early developmental adolescent years.
  • Activity – the condition is common in children who are engaged in sports that involve jumping, running and sudden changes in movement.
  • Flexibility – when the quadriceps muscles are very tight they can increase the pulling of the tendons in the kneecap.

Symptoms Of Osgood Schlatter’s

  • The child experiences knee pains due to the painful bump just below the knee.
  • There is swelling or inflammation and can become worse with time.
  • Pain is experienced during and after exercises.
  • Weakness in the muscles of the front thigh can be experienced in chronic cases.
  • Climbing stairs, kneeling and squatting can be very painful.

Diagnosis

When the doctor/physiotherapist is conducting the physical examination, he or she will look for redness, any swelling, tenderness and any knee pain around the knee. In rare cases, depending on the extent of the damage, an x-ray can be needed to examine the size of the damage to the knee joint.

Treatment

This condition usually resolves on its own as soon as the child’s bones cease to grow. At times the knee pains can be very severe, and one may need to take some medication for the knee pain treatment. You can buy some over the counter pain-relief to relieve the knee pains. Refer to your doctor if needed and follow their advice regarding pain-relief. A therapist can also guide your child to do some physical exercises that stretch the thigh’s quadriceps. This helps to reduce the tension in the tendons. A patella tendon strap can also be used to relieve the pressure. Exercises that strengthen the knee tendons and the thighs can be used to stabilise your child’s knee joints which should reduce the knee pains. In very rare cases, surgery is recommended but is only done when the knee pain does not stop even after the growth spurts have ceased.

Tips And Tricks For Managing Daily Activities

  • Icing The Injured Knee. This Helps To Reduce The Knee Pains And The Swelling.
  • Resting The Injured Joint- You Should Reduce Your Child’s Movement To Reduce Irritation Of The Knee.
  • During Sports, You Should Always Make Sure Your Child Wears The Correct Protective Garments For The Knee.
  • Advise Your Child To Engage In Activities That Do Not Involve Running Or Jumping, Such As Swimming.

Prevention

  • Let Your Child Use The Osgood Schlatter’s Braces And Straps To Reduce The Impact Of Force When Jumping.
  • The Use Of Crutches Is Advised To Minimise Adding Too Much Weight On The Injured Knee.
  • You Can Also Restrict Your Child From Engaging In Activities That Involve Jumping And Running.

How Long Till I Get Better?

Mild cases of Osgood Schlatter’s may take days to resolve, but for severe cases, the knee pains and swelling can take years to heal if left untreated or ignored. Therefore it is advisable to follow all prescribed treatments to ensure a quick recovery.

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