Osgood Schlatter Disease

Named after Robert-Bayley Osgood and Carl B. Schlatter, two scientists who undertook independent studies in 1903, Osgood-Schlatter disease occurs when the growth of bone is more rapid compared to the growth of the soft tissues that results in hauling pressure on the tendon.

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Consequently, the tendon becomes swollen and inflamed indicating calcification (accumulation of lime or insoluble magnesium and calcium salts in the tissue) that is clearly noticeable when an X-ray of the knees is done.

It may be noted here that the two scientists Osgood and Schlatter had undertaken separate studies to precisely depict the physical modifications that take place owing to a skeletal condition that has an affect on the lower frontal bones of the knee at the junction where the patellar tendon joins the bone of the lower leg.

Osgood-Schlatter disease is considered a form of osteochondrosis. It tends to occur in teenage boys and is a condition of adolescence, this conditions is thus mostly seen in boys between the ages of 10 to 15 - the condition arises because of the rapid growth of the young body accompanied by stress in the knee joints that occurs during competitive sports.

The cause of the condition is therefore physical and occurs when the patellar tendon in the knee that attaches the kneecap to the tibia becomes strained and is partially torn from the bone by action of the powerful quadriceps muscles during repeated and violent motions.

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The effect is the generation of extreme pain in some cases and the tearing that occurs is called an avulsion, it can become disabling and may require considerable rest to heal. One or both the knees may be affected at the same time.

The point where the large tendon arising from the kneecap latches on to the prominence below is often render and painful during the condition and the pain may be persistent but dull.

The condition is relieved by prolonged rest and relaxation, and most individuals affected by the symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease experience a lot of tenderness and swelling in the knees, the pain just below one knee or both knees may be very persistent and can rapidly be aggravated by physical activity, these include going up or down the stairs, and all such symptoms can be relieved by rest.

The problems endured owing to the Osgood-Schlatter disease are unusual. Generally, these complications may comprise incessant pain or localized swelling that can be frequently treated by using ice as well as taking anti-inflammatory drugs. It is possible that a bony swelling will be left behind, even when the symptoms of this medical condition have been completely cured.

This bony lump is usually found in the area on the shinbone that was distended. To some extent, the bony lump may remain all through the life of your child, but it generally does not get in the way of the functioning of the knee.

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Supplements and herbs

For the treatment of the condition, several physicians have recommended the use of the vitamin E at dosage regimes of 400 IU per day along with supplements of selenium at 50 mcg thrice a day - this supplementation regime is based on the personal findings of a medical doctor. Many of the patients are reported to see results following two to six weeks of continuous treatment according to a well-known, nutritionally oriented doctor who has anecdotally reported in such cases that he achieved the considerable success utilizing the particular dietary regimen.

The use of a combination of the minerals: zinc, manganese, with the vitamin B6 is recommended by another group of doctors for use with individuals affected by Osgood-Schlatter disease. The amounts and dosage regimen required have not been included in the report prepared by these doctors and therefore its administration must be done with caution.

The nutrients at reasonable levels for adolescents would be about 15 mg of the zinc, 5 to 10 mg more of the manganese, along with about 25 mg of the vitamin B6; this dosage regimen would be considered appropriate by most doctors. If the results are not as expected, supplements in larger quantities might be used under careful medical supervision by a competent doctor.

Additional things you may do

If your child is suffering from Osgood-Schlatter disease, he/ she will benefit by following the tips mentioned below. For instance, they should keep their joints in rest and restrict the time spent on undertaking activities that worsen the condition, for instance, jumping, running or kneeling. In addition, applying ice to the affected area is effective in alleviating pain as well as swelling caused by this medical condition.

Among other things that you may do to help your child get relief from the symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease is to make him/ her stretch their leg muscles. In effect, drawing out the quadriceps - the muscles on the front side of the thigh, is particularly vital. In addition, the child should always be careful to protect his/ her knees.

When they are taking part in any sports, let them wear a pad on top of the affected knee at the place where the knee might grow to be irritating. Alternately, the kids may also try wearing a strap to protect their knee while doing any activity. A patellar tendon strap is available, which suits about the leg just the kneecap and it helps in attaching to the tendon of the kneecap while they are participating in any activity and dispenses some amount of force past the shinbone.

Cross-training is also effective in alleviating the symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease. You may advise your child to change to activities which do not entail running or jumping, for instance swimming or cycling, till the symptoms of the disease are cured.

It has been found that generally the Osgood-Schlatter disease improves with no prescribed treatment. Usually the symptoms of this ailment fade away when the bones of your child stop growing. Till that period, the doctor may prescribe mild pain relievers as well as physical therapy. In such cases, using non-prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and other) and acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) may prove to be effective in alleviating the pain.

Taking the help of a physical therapist may help your child to recover faster from the Osgood-Schlatter disease. The physical therapist may train your child to undertake exercises that include stretching the quadriceps of the thighs and hamstrings. These exercises will facilitate in lessening the pressure on the place where the tendon of the kneecap appends with the shinbone. At the same time, undertaking strengthening work outs for the thigh's quadriceps will facilitate in stabilizing the knee joint.


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