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Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Overview

Osgood-Schlatter disease can be defined as overuse knee injury. The disease results in causing painful lump, below the kneecap. The disease is commonly found in those children that frequently participate in sports like jumping, running, basketball, etc. It is said and believed that disease affects 1 in every 5 adolescent athletes. The disease is commonly found in boys, between the age group of 13-14 years old and girls of age group 11-12 years. But, that does not imply that adults are not suffered from the disease, occasionally it affects them also. When child’s bones stop growing, then disease automatically starts disappearing.


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Causes

During sports activities that involve a lot of jumping or running, thigh muscles of the children pull on the tendons that eventually result in causing stress. Tendons perform an important function of connecting the kneecap to the shinbone. Repeated stress made on tendons, not only results in pulling away shinbone from it, but also causes pain and swelling. With repeated pain, new bone grows during the healing process that causes lump and Osgood-Schlatter disease.


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Signs & Symptoms

A worth disclosing point is symptoms of the disease can be experienced in one or both the legs. Some of major symptoms caused by the disease are described below:

  • Pain, tenderness or swelling below the knee.
  • Limping after performing any kind of physical activity.
  • Pain will get worse with activities like running, climbing stairs, etc.
  • Tightness of surrounding muscles, especially of thigh muscles.

 
Another important point is severity of the pain will vary from person to person. Some may experience mild pain while performing any activity, while other may experience unbearable pain. The discomfort caused by Osgood-Schlatter disease, sometimes, lasts for weeks or for months, depending upon an individual case. 

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Prevention

Prevention of the disease is not possible as small injuries that cause the disease usually go unnoticed. Regular stretching, after and before exercises, may help in preventing the injury.


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Treatments
Physical therapy Modern Medicine

It does happen that disease usually disappears even without taking any formal treatment. Normally, symptoms of the disease disappear when bones of the child stop growing. Till that period, disease can be controlled by taking antibiotics and physical therapy. 

OTC (over-the-counter) medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen are recommended by healthcare providers for alleviating pain. In some of the rare cases, when symptoms do not go away, a brace or cast may be recommended by professionals. The brace or cast will aid in providing adequate support to the legs till the time they healed up. This method usually takes time span of 6-8 weeks to heal the condition properly. In some cases, professionals recommend making use of crutches while walking to reduce weight pressure puts on the legs.

In very cases, professionals recommend surgery. Therefore, it is advised to take the treatment as soon as you experience the symptoms in order to avoid serious complications. If the Osgood-Schlatter disease left untreated, then there is a possibility that person may suffer from serious complication of chronic pain.

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