OSGOOD-SCHLATTER DISEASE (Osteochondrosis)
DESCRIPTIONOsgood-Schlatter disease is a temporary condition of the leg at the knee, characterized by swelling, tenderness, and pain. The tibial tubercle, a prominence just below the knee cap attached to a large thigh muscle connecting the bone of the upper leg (femur) to the large bone in the lower leg (tibia), is involved. This disorder often affects both knees. Osgood-Schlatter disease is most likely to affect adolescents. It is uncommon after age 16.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Self-care after diagnosis.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSA slightly swollen, warm and tender bump below the child's knee.
Pain with activity, especially straightening the leg against force, as in stair-climbing, jumping, or weight-lifting.
Stress or injury of the tibial tubercle, which is still developing during adolescence. Repeated stress or injury interferes with development, causing inflammation.
RISK FACTORSOverzealous conditioning routines, such as running, jumping, or jogging.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
Help an overweight child lose weight. A reducing diet appears in Appendix 31.
Encourage your child to exercise moderately, avoiding extremes.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
X-ray of the knee.
Recurrence of the condition in adulthood.
Usually curable with treatment in 4 to 8 months.
HOME CAREUse heat to relieve your child's pain. Warm compresses, heating pads, warm whirlpool baths, heat lamps, diathermy, or ultrasound are effective.
MEDICATIONFor minor discomfort, use non-prescription drugs such as aspirin.
Your doctor may prescribe cortisone injections if other treatment fails. Cortisone injections may weaken your child's tendons, so it is better to give the condition more time to heal than to use them.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
A leg cast or splint.
An elastic knee brace that prevents the child's knee from bending fully.
The child should not participate in sports during treatment. This is temporary, and normal activity can be resumed when inflammation subsides.
Resting the child's affected leg is the most important treatment. This is done with:
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet, unless the child is overweight. See Appendix 31 for a reducing diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes, when strength and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease.
The following occurs during treatment:
-- Symptoms don't improve in 4 weeks, despite treatment.
-- Pain increases.
-- Temperature rises to 101F (38.3C).