Osgood Schlatter refers to the inflammation and pain of patellar ligament present at the tibial tuberosity i.e. apophysitis. This characterizes a painful bump just beneath the patient’s knee, which becomes worse with physical activities and gets better when you take rest.
What Leads To Osgood Schlatter?
Osgood Schlatter disease mainly takes place from the irritation of a plate responsible for the growth of bones. We know that bones never grow in middle areas; instead, they grow at endpoints near the bone joints i.e. the growth plate areas. Whenever a child continues to grow, the growth areas constitute cartilage rather than bone. Cartilage does not possess enough strength, as the strength possessed by a child’s bone. Thus, high-stress levels may lead to swelling and hurting the growth plate.
The tendon passes from the patella or kneecap attaches downward towards the growth plate present in the front area of a leg bone, also known as the tibia. The quadriceps i.e. thigh muscles attach to your patella and when those muscles pull on your patella, they create tension on your patellar tendons. Later on, the patellar tendon pulls on your tibia in the growth plate area.
Any movement, which leads to repeated leg extension, may result in tenderness at various points, where patellar tendons attach to tibia at the top part. Activities, which put a huge amount of stress on your knee, such as bending, squatting or running uphill force your tissues across the growth plate to swell and hurt. Such activities may even hurt to bump or hit the affected area and in turn, makes kneeling activity a painful one.(1)
The prime risk factors associated with the disease of Osgood Schlatter are-
Sex: Osgood Schlatter disease was relatively common in boys as compared to girls. However, more numbers of girls are taking part in sports. Hence, both girls and boys remain at equal risk to suffer from the problem of Osgood Schlatter.
Age: The disease of Osgood Schlatter takes place during the growth spurts of one’s puberty. Age ranges may differ according to gender. This is because; girls enter the phase of puberty at an early age than boys do. Accordingly, the disease typically takes place between 10 years and 13 years in girls, while between 12 years and 14 years in boys.
Tightness And Flexibility: Tightness present in the quadriceps or thigh muscles may increase the pull of a child’s tendon of kneecap over the growth plate at the top area of the shinbone.
Sports: Sports, which involve consistent jumping, running and swift direction changes, may increase your risk to suffer from Osgood Schlatter disease.(2)
Can Osgood Schlatter Be Cured?
Most of the children may get cured form the condition of Osgood Schlatter without needing any formal treatment. Symptoms often disappear after the bones of a child stop growing. However, in some cases, you need different treatment options, which include-
OTC Medications: Over the counter types of pain relievers, like acetaminophen, naproxen sodium and ibuprofen may help to give relief from severe pain and tenderness.
Therapy: Your child’s physical therapist may assist your child to perform certain stretching exercises for quadriceps of his/her thighs. This helps in reducing the tension where the patella i.e. kneecaps tendon attaches towards the shinbone. A patellar tendon strap may help you to relieve the tension. In simple words, strengthening exercises for the legs and quadriceps may help in stabilizing the knee joint.
Surgery: In some of the rare cases, if your child experiences debilitating pain and never subside after your growth spurt, doctors may recommend surgical procedures for removing the bony overgrowth.(3)
To conclude we should say that the disease of Osgood Schlatter has multiple causes and risk factors. However, with proper treatment, one can easily overcome the condition in no time.
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