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Home » Anatomy » Knee Osgood-Schlatter Disease: What It Is, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Knee Osgood-Schlatter Disease: What It Is, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Introduction

Knee Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common condition that affects adolescents during their growth spurt. It is caused by inflammation of the growth plate at the top of the shinbone, where the patellar tendon attaches. The patellar tendon is the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone.

Causes

Osgood-Schlatter disease is caused by overuse of the patellar tendon. This overuse can occur during activities such as running, jumping, and squatting. The overuse causes the growth plate at the top of the shinbone to become inflamed.

Symptoms

The main symptom of Osgood-Schlatter disease is pain and inflammation below the kneecap. The pain may be worse with activity and may get better with rest. Other symptoms may include:

  • Swelling and tenderness below the kneecap
  • A bump below the kneecap
  • Difficulty bending or straightening the knee

Diagnosis

Osgood-Schlatter disease is usually diagnosed by a physical exam. The doctor will ask about the patient’s symptoms and medical history. They will also examine the patient’s knee and look for signs of inflammation and swelling.

In some cases, the doctor may order an X-ray to rule out other conditions, such as a fracture.

Treatment

Most cases of Osgood-Schlatter disease can be treated with home remedies, such as:

  • Rest: Avoid activities that aggravate the pain.
  • Ice: Apply ice to the knee for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  • Compression: Wrap the knee in an elastic bandage to help reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Raise the leg above the level of the heart when resting.

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may also be helpful.

In severe cases, the doctor may recommend physical therapy or other treatments, such as:

  • Bracing: A brace may be used to support the knee and reduce pain.
  • Corticosteroid injections: Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medications that can be injected into the knee to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Surgery: Surgery is rarely necessary, but it may be an option for patients with severe pain that does not respond to other treatments.

Prognosis

Most cases of Osgood-Schlatter disease improve with time. The condition usually resolves by the time the patient reaches skeletal maturity, which is typically around the age of 18.

FAQ

Q: What is the difference between Osgood-Schlatter disease and Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome?

A: Osgood-Schlatter disease and Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome are both overuse injuries that can affect the knee in adolescents. Osgood-Schlatter disease affects the growth plate at the top of the shinbone, while Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome affects the growth plate at the bottom of the kneecap.

Q: Can I prevent Osgood-Schlatter disease?

A: There is no sure way to prevent Osgood-Schlatter disease. However, you can reduce your risk by avoiding activities that overuse the patellar tendon, such as running, jumping, and squatting. You should also wear supportive footwear and maintain a healthy weight.

Q: When should I see a doctor for Osgood-Schlatter disease?

A: You should see a doctor for Osgood-Schlatter disease if you have pain and inflammation below the kneecap that is severe or does not improve with home remedies. You should also see a doctor if you have difficulty bending or straightening your knee, or if you have a bump below the kneecap.

Conclusion

Knee Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common condition that affects adolescents during their growth spurt. It is caused by overuse of the patellar tendon and is usually treated with home remedies, such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In severe cases, the doctor may recommend physical therapy or other treatments, such as bracing, corticosteroid injections, or surgery. Most cases of Osgood-Schlatter disease improve with time and resolve by the time the patient reaches skeletal maturity.

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