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Osgood-Schlatter disease

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It is an inflammation of the area just below the knee (tibial tuberosity), where the tendon from the kneecap (patellar tendon) attaches to the shinbone (tibia). The prominence or bump of the tibial tuberosity may become very pronounced.

How common: The condition affects adolescents. Around 10 percent of children aged 12-15 have this condition; the percentage is higher in the athletic population.

Average patient: A fourteen-year-old boy gets anterior knee pain during basketball camp.

Cause: It occurs during growth spurts, when bones, muscles, tendons, and other structures are changing rapidly. Because physical activity puts additional stress on bones and muscles, children who participate in athletics — especially running and jumping sports - are at an increased risk for this condition.

Symptoms: Knee pain, tenderness and swelling at the tibial tuberosity are often brought on by running, jumping, and other sports-related activities. In some cases, both knees have symptoms, although one knee may be worse than the other.

What to do: This is something that should be seen at the knee clinic in order to have appropriate treatment and follow-up consultations.

Severity of injury: Osgood-Schlatter disease doesn’t have a specific classification based on severity. With more pain symptoms, one should take more time to rest and scale back on activities.

Treatment options: Treatment options almost always involve rest, activity modification, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy.

Expected result:Most symptoms completely disappear when a child completes the adolescent growth spurt, around age 14 for girls and age 16 for boys. For this reason, surgery is rarely recommended. Open or arthroscopic ossicle removal or tibial tubercle prominence rundown can be done in rare cases.

Return-to-activity timeline: Pain resolution can take a few weeks to a few months and sometimes up to skeletal maturity. Patience is the key to return. However, the prominence of the tubercle will persist.

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