What is it?
Osgood-Schlatters Disease is a common diagnosis more common to young, athletic boys suffering from pain in the front of their knee and below their kneecap that is sharp and stabbing when they run. It generally begins quickly in a run and progresses to the point that it prevents running at all. Squatting, lunging, stairs and jumping are also often reported to be painful.
How did I get it?
The condition most commonly afflicts young athletic boys who are going through a “growth spurt” and are involved in running sports such as soccer.
How is it treated?
There are many ways that Osgood- Schlatters Disease can be treated. Rest from running is generally the most effective and prudent. However, there are many ways to help a young athlete get through their event or goal before resting is ensued. Therapeutic taping is often employed to facilitate the quadriceps and decrease strain on the patella tendon and tibial tuberosity.
A proper foot orthotic can go a long way in taking the stress off of your knee. The right custom-made, biomechanical orthotic can address the underlying cause of your knee pain. Abnormal joint position, overpronation, foot rigidity or excessive Q-angle can be addressed and the biomechanics normalized. San Diego Running Institute orthotics are custom molded to your foot and designed with your specific body weight and activity in mind. The restoration of correct mechanical function takes the abnormal stress off the knee allowing it to heal.
Often we are often told by parents that they have been having their child stretch in an attempt to relieve pain associated with Osgood- Schlatters Disease. The stretching exercise is directed at lengthening the quadriceps tendon. The problem is that Osgood-Schlatters is not a “stretching deficiency” but rather an over-use injury associated with a “growth-spurt”. Strengthening of certain muscles may be effective but it is important to remember, it takes 4-6 weeks before muscles begin to strengthen in response to training. In addition anyone who has worked out in a gym can tell you that if you stop strengthening muscles they begin to shrink, lose strength and atrophy within two weeks! So if weakness is the cause of your knee pain you will have to do strengthening exercises for the rest of your running life or the pain will return.
For many young athletes rest is not a realistic option, the race, game or event they are training for is just around the corner. Our bodies are wonderful “machines”, if you rest it long enough it will heal itself. How long? This is uncertain. If you do not rest long enough the injury may not heal. You need to rest your knees until it does not hurt to run. There are devices such as the Pro-Tech patella compression brace that sometimes allows a young athlete to continue training by decreasing stress at the patella tendon and tibial tuberosity.
Drugs such as Ibuprofen are anti-inflammatory agents not healing agents. They can actually impair the healing process and many times allow a young athlete to injure themselves further. Studies have shown that these medications are harmful to your body, can cause ulcers and strain your liver.
Ice is often recommended and is another example of a non-healing modality. A young athlete often reports that they have been icing their knee after running. Doing this may help with the pain and inflammation at the moment but how will it help to remove the abnormal stress that is occurring in your knee? It won’t. What it will allow them to do is further injure their knee, resulting in permanent damage. Addressing the underlying biomechanical cause prevents further damage from occurring and allows them to complete their race or game injury free.
Steroid Injections: Steroid injections are extremely painful and most doctors are reluctant to inject the patella tendon or tibial tuberosity. The steroid cortisone is catabolic in nature, meaning it breaks tissue down while suppressing inflammation. With you child in a growth stage injecting them with a catabolic hormone is probably not a good idea.
How long will it take to heal?
This depends on how long you have been suffering from Osgood-Schlatters Disease. By correcting the cause of the injury with San Diego Running Institute orthotics and following the treatment regimen provided by Dr. Allen D.C. you can expect some relief usually within two to four weeks. Call 858-268-8525 to schedule an appointment at San Diego Running Institute.