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Osgood-Schlatter in Adults

The disease, Osgood- Schlatter, often affects adolescents and children. This condition leaves the recipient with a painful lump below the kneecap. It seems to happen to children who are involved in active sports and young adults who are going through puberty and having spurts of growth. This disease happens more to boys but girls can get it. With children and adolescents the main target for this disease, can adults get Osgood-Schlatter?

Can Osgood-Schlatter in Adults Happen?

With children as the main target, Osgood-Schlatter has been nicknamed “knobby knee”. Osgood-Schlatter affects the bone, cartilage and tendon near the top of the shinbone that encompasses the tendon located where the knee attaches.

Osgood-Schlatter in adult is not that common, but if they have had this disease when they were younger they may keep getting it as an adult. Adults could also end up with this disease if they participate in repetitive activities or experience pain when extending their leg.

Symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter in Adults

  • While Osgood-Schlatter may occur to adults, it usually only affects one knee and is not very painful.
  • Other than having swelling and chronic pain in the area of the disease, there are not many complications from having Osgood-Schlatter.
  • Once the symptoms resolves, there may be a boney lump on the shinbone where the swelling is. This lump could remain as the person gets older, but it will not affect the function of the knee.

How to Diagnose Osgood-Schlatter

You doctor give do some physical exams and even give a scan to find out if you have Osgood-Schlatter:

1. Physical Exam

If you are having trouble with your knee, your doctor may check you for Osgood-Schlatter due to your symptoms, the sports you have participated in, and your age.

Your doctor will then check your knee to for any tenderness, pain, redness or swelling.

The doctor will also look for is your range of motion in the joint and your hip.

2. X-Rays

If the doctor is still unsure he might order X-rays which could show if there are any bone fragments broken away from your shinbone. X-rays could also show if there are excess areas of calcium deposits settled into the patellar tendon. It is also possible that you may have something other than Osgood-Schlatter, especially if you have constant pain and your knee is tender in more than one spot.

How to Deal With Osgood-Schlatter in Adults

If you have been diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter as an adult, there are some simple remedies that can help you cope and even ease your pain.

1. Get Enough Rest

Letting your body rest is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself. As for sleeping, quality is more important than quantity here. Also, do not take on any weight bearing exercises.

2. Apply Cold Compress

Putting a cold compress on your knee will help to bring the inflammation down. You can do this about 3 times each day for 10 to 15 minutes each time. A bag of frozen vegetables makes a good cold compress because it can adapt to your knee.

3. Give It Some Massage

Massaging the quadriceps will help to stretch out the muscles and make sure they are flexible enough to take on the loads that they have to carry. One of the techniques includes massaging the leg from the ankle up one side of the leg to the hip and back down. You can do this 5 to 10 times.

4. Use Patella Knee Strap

Applying a patella tendon taping or knee strap can be a big help treat Osgood-Schlatter in adults by cutting down on the tension and supporting the knee. Either of these products can help to absorb the impact and shock that the knee is subject to, and change the angle of the forces that affect the tendon. The taping or strap can be worn whenever there is pain in the knee. A neoprene knee support keeps the tendons warm and provides support for the entire joint. You can try different types of strap to find a best fit.

5. Take Medication

Doctors will probably suggest over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS to bring down the inflammation. Ibuprofen would fall into this class so you have your choice of Advil or Aleve. If you have asthma or heart problems you should not take Ibuprofen.

6. Use External Support

If you have a severe case of Osgood-Schlatter disease, you may need a plaster cast for a couple of weeks to help ease the pain. An X-ray will determine the amount of damage occurred.

7. Surgery

In extreme cases, surgery may be used to treat Osgood-Schlatter in adults. Sometimes a bone fragment could cause a great deal of pain. This can be rectified by surgery which can help you back on your feet in a couple of weeks. One of the side effects of the surgery is a problem with circulation below the knees. But this is a short term problem and the regular blood flow will return fairly quickly.

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