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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Osgood-Schlatter Disease

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease [posted 12/02/98]
Question: My daughter, 11, was diagnosed with the disease this summer while playing softball as a catcher (which requires a lot of kneeling.) She sat out a month of the softball season and wore an immobilizer on her knee. In September, she began playing basketball, but experienced pain in the knee throughout the season, which ended today. How long should she refrain from sports? Should she wear her immobilizer again? And are there stretches or strengthening exercises that she should do when she returns to sports after a rest?

Answer: This is probably an inherited tendency and will need several months of rest. She may experience pain again with exercise and exercises do little for the problem;but, do maintain leg strength while immobilized and important issue.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Question: What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease?

Answer: Osgood-Schlatter Disease is also referred to as Chromalacia Patellae. This is seen in teens and young adults who have knee pain. The pain is actually on the patellae and is due to inflammation/degeneration of the patellar surface on the inside of the patellae. This can be due to trauma, misalignment, etc. Treatment is non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, pt and occasionally surgery to correct misalignment.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Question: I am a 33 year old male with a problem of pain in my knee area. It has been diagnosed as Osgood-Schlatter's disease. The doctor (I don't have a family doctor)suggested ice packs and Motrin for the pain. I tried it for 6 days and it didn’t help. I would like to know if surgery is an option I should look into .I have great medical insurance and would really like to be rid of the pain. The pain is getting worse every day. I work in a factory with a lot of twisting, kneeling and bending and I don't know how much longer I can handle it.

Answer: Osgood-Schlatter's Disease is inflammation and pain on the patella. This is usually seen in teenagers who jump and exercise a great deal, cheerleaders, basketball players, etc. It would be somewhat unusual for OS Disease to present at your age unless you have a long history of this problem. However, the diagnosis is made by pressing the kneecap(patella) against the femur(leg bone) while contracting the quadriceps. If this gives pain your patella is inflamed. Rest, NSAIDS like you have been prescribed and physical therapy are usually all that is required. In recurrent and severe cases realignment of the patellar tendon can occasionally help, but this is a last resort.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Question: I am a sixth grade teacher with a student treated for Osgood-Schatter disease. What is this condition?

Answer: Osgood-Schlatter Disease is inflammation and degradation of the cartilage on the patella. This is usually on the posterior side (the side that is used for a lever in the leg to increase power). This is usually seen in young adults and teen-agers. It severely limits their ability to jump and engage in high impact sports. There is a large debate on whether this is congenital or acquired by excessive use.

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