Osgood Schlatters Disease

November 12, 2012

Osgood Schlatters Disease

The two doctors who first identified this disease in 1903 were Dr Robert Osgood and Dr Carl Schlatter, hence the name Osgood Schlatters disease. Osgood Schlatters develops mainly in children, especially boys, and young athletes aged from ten to fifteen years. It happens because of a quick growth spurt along with playing lots of sport. A consequence of these changes is that there is extra tension from the patella tendon onto the tibial tuberosity, a bony protrusion at the top of the shin. This occurs frequently in youngsters because of the softness of the bones remaining from childhood. It is a very frequent reason of knee pain in children as they tend to be involved when children run and jump which in turn puts more strain on the patella tendon. During the healing process a bony lump is formed because with each new trauma more bone grows. It stops being a problem when the youngsters stop growing and the tendons gain strength. However, sometimes it continues into adulthood. Osgood Schlatters disease occurs at the tibial tuberosity just below the knee and is painful. It can become inflamed and swollen and also one side may have more prominence. The pain and tenderness becomes worse after doing exercise where you have been contracting the quadriceps or contracting the muscles with your leg straight.

To ensure that the condition heals properly, rest is the best remedy for Osgood Schlatters disease. Any exercise carried out should not cause pain nor should you do it every day. Weight bearing exercises should be avoided as they can exacerbate the problem. It is best to do a small number of exercises which are effective than doing exercises every day. Application of ice packs or cold therapies to the knee on a regular basis helps to reduce pain and inflammation, especially if you have taken part in any activities or sport. Application of ice for ten to fifteen minutes should be carried out three times per day. Try light stretches of the quad muscles only if is comfortable. Use an ice cube to massage the exact area which is causing the trouble, e.g. the patella tendon. If you have a trainer or coach they will be able to draw up an action plan to suit you.

Visiting a sports injury professional will confirm if the injury is in fact Osgood Schlatters disease and they will be able to recommend an exercise plan which is specifically designed for you, therefore achieving the best results. They can also inform you of the sports massage techniques to be applied on the quads and patella tendon. If the condition is very serious an x-ray can be carried out to find out what damage has been done. They can also recommend application of a plaster cast for three weeks if it is required.

There are many products which offer support to the knee which may help with Osgood Schlatters disease. A neoprene support retains the natural heat from the body and provides compression and support to the knee. Patella tendon straps put pressure on the patella tendon which helps to lessen the strain on the tibial tuberosity. This strap is wrapped around below the knee. A knee support or strap can be used to lessen tension on the knee.

Over time and with lots of rest, Osgood Schlatters disease will disappear.


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