Osgood Schlatters - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common health condition that causes knee pain, mostly occurring in children and adolescents. Some may develop it in one knee but, mostly, it occurs in both. It can cause a bony bump on the shinbone just below the knee that is painful. Moreover, it is common among children who participate in sports like basketball, soccer, ballet, and figure skating- those which have an impact on knees. Previously it was common in boys because they used to participate more in sports as compared to girls. But now it is common in girls as well because they are also involved in it. In boys, mostly it occurs in the ages 12 to 14, whereas in girls it occurs between the ages 10 to 13. The difference occurs because girls reach puberty earlier than boys. Mostly the condition resolves on its own when the child’s bones stop growing. 


Symptoms 


The main symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease are knee pain and swelling just below the kneecap. Pain worsens with the activities like jogging, running, and jumping and gets better upon resting. 


Mostly it affects one knee, but it can affect both. Furthermore, the signs and symptoms may keep coming and going and may last from weeks to months. However, the condition gets better when the bones of the child stop growing. If your child has got a knee lock or knee pain with fever, you should visit the healthcare provider as soon as possible. 


Causes


The main causes of Osgood Schlatter disease are the activities that involve bending off the knee, running, and jumping like;


  • Basketball

  • Soccer

  • Volleyball

  • Ballet

  • Cricket and others


In these activities, the thigh muscles or quadriceps of your child pull on the tendon that connects the kneecap to the growth plate at the top part of the shinbone. When the child keeps on doing the same physical activities, it can cause pain and swelling of the knee associated with Osgood-Schlatter disease. In some children, the body tries to close the gap by growing a new bone that can result in a bony lump at that place. 


Risk factors


The main risk factors for the Osgood Schlatter disease are;


Age- it mostly occurs during puberty when growth is at its peak. There is a difference in the age range of boys and girls because girls reach puberty earlier as compared to boys. 


Sex- previously it was more common in boys. But now it is getting common in girls too as they are also involved in sports. 


Sports- it can occur in any sport. But it is more common in the ones that involve jumping, running, and bending knees that mostly occur in soccer, volleyball, and ballet.


Flexibility- lack of flexibility and tightness of the quadriceps muscles can increase the pull of the knee cap’s tendon at the top of the shin bone, at the growth plate. 


Complications 


The Osgood-Schlatter disease rarely causes any complication. However, it can cause knee pain and swelling. Even after the symptoms resolve, the bony lump may persist on the shin bone, below the knee cap. 


Conclusion 


Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common health condition that causes knee pain, mostly occurring in children and adolescents. Some may develop it in one knee, but mostly it occurs in both. It can cause a bony bump on the shinbone just below the knee that is painful. Moreover, it is common among children who participate in sports like basketball, soccer, ballet, and figure skating- those which have an impact on knees.


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