Osgood Schlatter is a common cause of knee pain resulting from an inflammation just below the knee. The condition occurs primarily through periods of growth spurts when structures like bones, muscle, and tendons change rapidly. Depending on the severity of the condition, Osgood Schlatter treatment involves taking a few different measures.
The symptoms of Osgood Schlatter typically involve pain at the tibial tuberosity or bony pit at the top of the shin. When this part becomes inflamed or swollen, the affected area becomes more prominent than usual.
Other symptoms include experiencing tenderness and pain which is worsened during and after exercise. Some children may even experience limping after physical activity.
The severity of the symptoms can easily vary from one person to the next. Some children may only experience mild pain during specific activates while others may suffer from a constant throbbing pain. The duration of the discomfort can also vary, lasting from a few weeks to a couple of years.
Adequate rest, however, can improve these symptoms and symptoms typically disappear once the growth spurt is over.
Osgood Schlatter disease causes
While the condition does occur through an overuse of the tibial tuberosity, there are specific factors that may increase the susceptibility of sustaining this disease. These can include the following causes:
- Age can be a notable factor in the diagnosis of Osgood Schlatter disease. In many instances, the pain experienced by boys between 13 to 15 years of age and girls between 10 -12 years old is put down as growing pains. However, it may actually be Osgood Schlatter especially if young adolescents are engaged in high impact sports or other such activities.
- Gender seems to play a part in the occurrence of the disease. That is to say that the condition is diagnosed more in boys than girls. But with more girls getting involved in sporting activities, the gap is becoming narrower between the two.
- Activity levels can also be a contributing factor. As the bones of young athletes grow, it may take some time for their muscles and tendons to catch up. Regular sports activity can pull on localized tendons which in turn pull on the tibial tubercle. The result of this repetitive traction can lead to inflammation in the area and cause distressing discomfort.
Osgood Schlatter treatment options
Treatment for this disease aims at reducing the associated pain and swelling. Such treatment may also demand to limit exercise and activity until the person starts to feel better.
- Medications are usually the first line of treatment for this condition. Over the counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen are all helpful. They reduce swelling and help subside the associated pain.
- Physical therapy can be used to stretch the quadriceps which assist in reducing tension in the inflamed area.
- Surgery may be considered as a last resort in very rare cases. Typically the condition resolves without formal treatment as symptoms usually disappear after the growth spurt is over.
However, in cases where the pain persists and does not subside even after the growth spurt, the doctor may decide to administer surgery. The surgical procedure will likely be done to remove the bony overgrowth in the area.