ADOLESCENT MEDICINE :: Orthopaedic Problems
What is Osgood-Schlatter disease?
Osgood-Schlatter disease is an overuse condition or injury of the knee that causes pain and swelling below the knee area over the shin bone.
What causes Osgood-Schlatter disease?
Osgood-Schlatter disease is characterized by inflammation of the patellar tendon and surrounding soft tissues. It is caused by the constant pulling of the patellar tendon on the area below the knee where the tendon attaches.
Who is affected by Osgood-Schlatter disease?
Osgood-Schlatter disease is commonly seen in the growing child and adolescent. This is an age where the bones are typically growing faster than the muscles and tendons. As a result, the muscles and tendons have a tendency to become tight.
Osgood-Schlatter disease is most often seen in preteen and teenage boys from 11 to 15 years old. It is occasionally diagnosed in girls ages 8 to 13. Osgood-Schlatter is common in young athletes who play games or sports that involve running and jumping.
Factors which increase the likelihood of Osgood-Schlatter disease may include the following:
What are the symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease?
The following are the most common symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease. However, each adolescent may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease may resemble other conditions or medical problems of the knee. Always consult your adolescent's physician for a diagnosis.
How is Osgood-Schlatter disease diagnosed?
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for Osgood-Schlatter disease may include:
Treatment for Osgood-Schlatter disease:
Specific treatment for Osgood-Schlatter disease will be determined by your adolescent's physician based on:
The goal of treatment is to control the knee pain and limit your teen's activities that could aggravate the condition. Treatment may include:
Long-term outlook for an adolescent with Osgood-Schlatter disease:
Osgood-Schlatter disease often resolves with time. Rarely is surgery required for this condition.
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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.
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