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Health Information For Teens
Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is swelling and irritation of the growth plate at the top of the shinbone. A growth plate is a layer of cartilage near the end of a bone where most of the bone’s growth happens. It is weaker and more at risk for injury than the rest of the bone.
OSD goes away when a person stops growing and usually doesn’t cause lasting problems.
OSD typically causes pain and swelling below the kneecap. The pain usually gets worse with running, jumping, going up stairs, and walking up hills. Severe pain may lead to limping. OSD can happen in one or both knees.
Osgood-Schlatter disease happens during the growth spurt of puberty, when the bones, muscles, and tendons grow at different rates. In OSD, the tendon that connects the shinbone to the kneecap pulls on the growth plate at the top of the shinbone. Activities and sports cause this to happen over and over, which causes injury to the growth plate. This injury leads to the pain of OSD.
OSD usually happens in kids and teens who are:
OSD is an overuse injury. This means it happens when someone does the same movements over and over again.
To diagnose Osgood-Schlatter disease, health care providers:
Usually no testing is needed. Sometimes the health care provider orders an X-ray to check for other knee problems.
Someone with Osgood-Schlatter disease needs to limit activities that cause pain that makes it hard to do that activity. For example, if you feel a little pain when running it’s OK to keep running. But if running causes a limp, stop and rest. When the pain is better (usually after a day or two), you can try the activity again.
Sometimes health care providers recommend physical therapy (PT) to keep leg muscles strong and flexible while you get better. It doesn’t happen often, but some teens might need a total break from all sports and physical activities.
To feel more comfortable while healing from OSD:
Osgood-Schlatter disease usually goes away when the bones stop growing. Typically, this is when a teen is between 14 and 18 years old.
Yes, teens with OSD can usually do their normal activities, including sports, as long as:
If you play sports, it can help to:
Long-term effects of OSD usually aren’t serious. Some teens may have a painless bump below the knee that doesn’t go away. Very rarely, doctors will do surgery to remove a painful bump below the knee.
Some adults who had OSD as kids or teens have some pain with kneeling. If you still have knee pain after your bones stop growing, see your health care provider. The provider can check for other causes of knee pain.
Healthy knees are needed for many activities and sports and getting hurt can mean some time sitting on the sidelines.
Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury that happens when frequent jumping, running, and changing direction damages the patellar tendon.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (or runner’s knee) is the most common overuse injury among runners, but it can also happen to other athletes who do activities that require a lot of knee bending.
ACL injuries can happen in active and athletic kids when excessive pressure is put on the knee joint, resulting in a torn ligament.
MCL injuries happen when excessive pressure is put on the knee joint, causing a torn ligament.
Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) happen when movements are repeated over and over, damaging a bone, tendon, or joint.
Physical therapy helps people get back to full strength and movement – and manage pain – in key parts of the body after an illness or injury.
Playing hard doesn’t have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how.
You practiced hard and made sure you wore protective gear, but you still got hurt. Read this article to find out how to take care of sports injuries – and how to avoid getting them.
Winning is all that matters when you play sports, right? Not when that means you can’t even enjoy the game. Read about how to handle sports pressure and competition.
Our bones, muscles, and joints form our musculoskeletal system and enable us to do everyday physical activities.
You may have heard mixed things about stretching before working out. Here are the cold, hard facts on warming up, stretching, and cooling down.
Just as professional sports stars need medical care to keep them playing their best, so do student athletes. That’s why it’s important to get a sports physical.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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