One of the most common causes of knee pain in adolescents is Osgood-Schlatter disease. In fact, more than 200,000 adolescents in the United States are diagnosed with it each year.
Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is actually not a disease. It is an overuse injury which causes inflammation of the area below the knee where the tendon from the kneecap attaches to the shin bone. It typically occurs between the ages of 11 and 14. It usually only occurs in only one knee, however, it can occur in both. Adolescents who are active in athletics that involve running and jumping are at an increased risk for OSD. It most often occurs during growth spurts when adolescent’s bones, muscles, and tendons are changing rapidly and are more vulnerable to stress and injury.
Adolescents who have OSD typically have a painful, swollen bump just below the kneecap and complain of knee pain that increases with activity and decreases with rest. It is diagnosed by physical exam and X-rays. OSD usually resolves on its own over time. However, symptomatic treatment for OSD is RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), NSAIDS (such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen), and stretching or Physical Therapy. Adolescents who have OSD will also need to limit their activity, specifically running and jumping, until their pain improves.
If your adolescent is complaining of knee pain, contact your local 7 Springs Orthopedics and let our highly trained orthopedic providers evaluate, diagnose, treat and educate them and get them back in the game!!