Has your child been complaining of knee pain recently? Is there a bony bump beneath their knee that is causing significant pain? It may be Osgood-Schlatter Disease. Common in active adolescents, this condition is caused by an inflammation of the growth plate due to overuse.
What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease?
Osgood-Schlatter disease causes a painful, bony bump on the shinbone right below the knee. It occurs in children and adolescents experiencing growth spurts during puberty. Some growth plates have tendons attached to them, and if a child is very active, the tendon that attaches below the knee can become inflamed. This causes the painful, bony bump.
Who gets it?
Student athletes are more likely to get Osgood-Schlatter Disease, especially young adolescents who are experiencing a growth spurt. When you experience a growth spurt, your bones, muscles, tendons, and other internal structures change rapidly. Since physical activity puts a lot of stress on bones and muscles, children who participate in athletics (especially running and jumping sports) are at an increased risk for this condition. However, less active adolescents may also experience this problem.
How is it treated?
Treatment primarily focuses on reducing the pain and swelling caused by this condition. It usually requires limiting exercise activity until your child can enjoy activity without discomfort or significant pain. Sometimes, rest from activity is required for a few months, followed by a strengthening and conditioning program. However, if your child or teen does not have a large amount of pain or a limp, it may be safe to continue participating in sports.