Home / Health / Osgood-Schlatter Disease, The Common Cause of Knee Pain in Adolescents but Overlooked Often

Osgood-Schlatter Disease, The Common Cause of Knee Pain in Adolescents but Overlooked Often

By Andrew Alpin, 6 November 2022

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3Other causes of knee pain

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Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome is another cause of knee pain in athletic children. While both disorders are caused by growth plate damage, Osgood-Schlatter occurs below the kneecap in the tibial tubercle. In contrast, Sinding-Larsen-Johansson occurs higher in the inferior pole of the patella.

Other causes of knee pain

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2Best treatments for Osgood-Schlatter disease

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Osgood-Schlatter disease treatment methods focus on minimizing pain, discomfort, and swelling. Doctors recommend rest, minimizing physical activity, and a strength conditioning program. Osgood-Schlatter disease pain almost generally ends when a teenager’s body fully develops. Even with treatment, some people may have symptoms for 12-24 months.

Most symptoms disappear around the ages of 14 years for girls and 16 years for males. In the meantime, the following measures may be helpful:

  • Thermotherapy and Cryotherapy
  • Relative rest, which may involve limiting or changing activities for up to 6 weeks
  • If the pain is too severe, a short course of knee immobilization is recommended.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

A doctor may also recommend stretching and strengthening activities to relieve knee pain. Some people may benefit from a knee support wrap or knee straps as well. Possible knee exercises include:

  • Hamstring stretches
  • Quadricep stretches
  • Gastrocnemius muscle stretches
  • Leg lifts with straight legs
  • Bridges

Best treatments for Osgood-Schlatter disease

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1Surgery is usually not required

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Surgery is often not required because the bone is tougher than cartilage and less prone to irritation. The growth plate will eventually stop developing and fill with bone. If a person has bone fragments that have not healed or if there is an actual fracture, a doctor may recommend surgery in very rare circumstances. A surgeon, on the other hand, will not conduct surgery until the patient has stopped developing.

Surgery is usually not required

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