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Overcoming Osgood Schlatter Disease

This disease is one of the most common causes for knee pain for young athletes. Learn more about Osgood Schlatter Disease and how to deal with it.

The 411 on Osgood Shlatter

Osgood Shlatter happens mostly to boys who are having a growth spurt in their early teen years. It causes pain, swelling and tenderness below the knee (or both knees) and over the shin bone. It results from the pull of the quadriceps due to the growth spurt. Kids notice the pain when they are running, jumping or walking up stairs. It is common in sports like football, soccer, basketball and even in ballet and gymnastics.

What to do Next

If you are experience knee pain definitely go see a doctor. If you do have Osgood Shlatter Disease, the doctor will most likely ask you to take it easy on sports for awhile. That doesn't mean you have to give up sports, but limit the amount of time you spend playing them. You will have to wait until the knee pain is gone for at least two to three months. If pain does start to bother you, make sure to use the "RICE" technique: Rest the knee, Ice the knee for 20 minutes - three times a day, Compress the knee with an elastic bandage, Elevate the leg.

You might also be required to wear a knee brace in order to reduce the tension. Doctors might also recommend taking pain medications like Advil and Tylenol. If the pain is serious enough, the doctor might have to perform surgery. Typically, this disease goes away with time. Sometimes it might take a few months, but very rarely does it stick. If you ignore rest, the disease could get worse and take longer to treat. When you stop growing, your patellar tendons get a lot stronger.


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