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- Sex: males are at greater risk than females
- Age: 10 to 18 years old
- Rapid growth spurts
- Activities that stress the patellar tendon, such as jogging, jumping, and sudden turning
- Being overweight
- Pain, swelling, and/or tenderness just below the knee that usually worsens during physical activity
- A swollen, painful bump just below the knee
- Avoid exercise that stresses the patellar tendon until the swelling and pain go away. This may be as short as 1 to 2 weeks, or as long as three months or more.
- Talk to your doctor about using a strap to stabilize the area during sports.
- Use a brace or elastic bandage to support the area as it heals.
- You may be referred to a physical therapist to strengthen the affected muscles.
- Ice compresses during a flare-up or after exercise
- An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen
- A local injection of cortisone in severe cases
- Encourage overweight children to lose weight.
- Encourage children to exercise regularly but moderately, and to avoid weight-bearing activities that put excessive stress on the patellar tendon. These include jogging, jumping, and sudden turning.
- Ask your child's doctor for stretching and strengthening exercises for the shinbone/patellar tendon.
American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Atanda A, Shah S, O'Brien K. Osteochondrosis: common causes of pain in growing bones. Am Fam Physician . 2011 Feb 1;83(3):285-91.
Aronen JG and Garrick JG. Sports-induced inflammation in the lower extremities. Hosp Pract . 1999;34:51.
Ducher G, Cook J, Lammers G, Coombs P, Ptazsnik R, Black J, Bass SL. The ultrasound appearance of the patellar tendon attachment to the tibia in young athletes is conditional on gender and pubertal stage. J Sci Med Sport . 2010;13(1):20-23.
Osgood-Schlatter disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated January 24, 2012. Accessed June 24, 2013.
Overuse injuries in children. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00613 . Updated December 2012. Accessed June 24, 2013.
Pihlajamäki HK, Visuri TI. Long-term outcome after surgical treatment of unresolved Osgood-Schlatter disease in young men: surgical technique. J Bone Joint Surg Am . 2010;92: Suppl 1 Pt 2:258-264.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013
- Update Date: 05/11/2013