Osgood Schlatter disease is a common cause of knee pain among young adolescents. It is also often called Apophysitis of the tibial tubercle. It is characterized by painful lump below the kneecap. It occurs mostly in adolescents during puberty when they are experiencing growth or in those children who actively participate in sports which involves jumping, running such as basketball, soccer etc. OSD is more common in boys than in girls but this gap is thinning as more and more girls are now involved actively in sports.
Symptoms of Osgood Schlatter Disease
Kids are very vulnerable during their growth spurts as their muscles, bones and tenders are growing rapidly. The physical exercise and sports activities place excess pressure on the growth plate. The pain varies from person to person. Some children feel mild pain while others feel a constant debilitating pain. Sometimes the pain is only felt when the child is exercising or playing sports. You should call your doctor if your child is complaining of knee pain for several months. The pain also seems to worsen with more activity. Other symptom includes swelling under the knees or over the shinbone, tenderness around the knee muscles and limping after physical activity. If the pain and discomfort interferes with the daily routine of your child you should see a doctor. If the pain is accompanied by fever and red and swollen knee then you should seek proper medical care for your child.
Treatment of Osgood Schlatter Disease
A formal treatment is usually not needed in case of Osgood Schlatter disease. All the symptoms usually disappear when the growth spurts stops in children. However, during the time when your child’s bones are growing, your doctor may recommend you mild pain relief drugs. Some of the over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen, Tylenol or naproxen are helpful in taking care of the mild pain. Some doctors will also teach stretching exercises to your children to stretch hamstring muscles and quadriceps of thighs.
Home Treatment for Osgood Schlatter Disease
While your doctor treats your child you can also follow some easy home remedies to give relief to your child from knee pain.
- Using ice on the affected area will help release the pain and decrease the swelling of muscles.
- Make sure that your child is not overexerting his knees by involving in activities like running, jumping and kneeling. Put a limit on the time your child is spending doing these activities so that his knees and muscles can rest.
- Make your child wear a pad over the knee with pain when he is participating in sports.
- Make your child stretch his leg muscles and thigh’s quadriceps.
- If the case is severe with your child he may need a complete break from all such activities until the symptoms subside.
Preparation For Doctor’s Appointment
Be ready to ask and answer a few questions when you go to a doctor for your child’s Osgood Schlatter problem. A few points you need to make sure are ready in your mind when you go to see a doctor.
- The severity of the pain
- Occurrence of pain, that is, if the pain occurs mostly during the physical activity or before or after it.
- Is there any swelling and redness on or around the knees?
- What is the regular sports and exercising routine of your child?
- Are the symptoms affecting the normal routine of your child or is he able to perform his daily activities without any major discomfort?
- Is there any recent injury during your sports or exercising routine that may damage your child’s knees?
- Does any of the home treatment works for your child?
- Is your child able to tolerate the pain during while playing or exercising?
A few questions that you need to ask from your doctor are:
- Should your child continue with his regular sports and exercising regime or does he need to make any changes?
- What symptoms should you look for which will tell you that your child needs a complete break from his sports activities?
- What else can you do to make sure that your child is relieved from the pain?