Knee Pain in Children and Osgood Schlatters disease

November 12, 2012

Knee Pain in Children and Osgood Schlatters disease

Osgood Schlatters disease occurs in children and adolescents between the age of 10 and 15 years of age. It is a form of knee pain due to rapid bone growth and physical activity. The child or adolescent may experience pain just below the knee at the top of the tibial bone. Quite often this area becomes swollen due to inflammation and can actually be seen. Compare both knee areas to see the difference. Pain usually becomes pronounced when exercising particularly when contracting the quadriceps in the front of the thigh.

Osgood Schlatters disease occurs with overuse of the knee (patella tendon) and tibial tuberosity area. This is common with children that run and jump a lot creating pressure on the patella tendon. This causes inflammation (swelling) in this area. If this continues, new bone develops while this area is healing and causes a bony protuberance. If activity decreases, this will allow from some healing. This boney protuberance generally goes away once the adolescent stops growing and the tendons in this region become stronger.

Treatment of Osgood Schlatters disease is relatively simple so long as it doesn’t develop into something serious. First line of treatment involves rest so that the inflammation will go down. Exercise is okay so long as it doesn’t cause pain and further damage. Along with rest make use of cold and hot compresses. Use cold therapy first for ten minutes or so and continue to do this for 3 to 4 times throughout the day. Hot compresses can applied secondarily in the same manner. Make sure you use cold therapy first. Cold therapy tends to make the area stiffer, but that’s okay. It’s suppose to. If it is possible, stretch your quadriceps. You may want to wear a knee wrap to reduce any tension on the knee. If this persists for a few days, you need to go to the doctor and one that is knowledgeable about sports injuries.

A doctor who is well versed in sports injuries will be able to properly diagnose Osgood Schlatters disease if you have it. If physical therapy is necessary, they will know how to do the proper massage or electrotherapy if it is needed. These professionals will also be able to take X-rays if necessary and be able to analyze them properly. They will be able to provide you with a proper exercise program to allow the area to heal. If necessary, they can apply a cast if your pain is severe.

While you’re on your way to recovery, there are a number of knee supports you can use to ease the tension and pain with Osgood Schlatters disease. Supports can easily be bought at your local pharmacy and are relatively inexpensive depending on the materials they are made of. Neoprene braces are quite popular and are easily adjusted with Velcro fasteners. These wraps secure above and below the knee and have a hole in the center. They provide the necessary support and compression needed to support your knee while walking and doing your exercises. They also hold in heat that allows for good blood circulation and healing. Keeping the tendon area warm will help it work better as well. Pharmacies also offer patella tendon straps and for some injuries work well. A patella tendon strap goes around your leg just below the knee over your tibial tuberosity. This helps to reduce the strain on the tuberosity.

If your child or adolescent has Osgood Schlatters disease, rest along with some cold and warm compresses and a knee brace should do the trick. If inflammation and pain continue and become severe, a visit to a sports healthcare provider may be needed.

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