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Pain in the Knee

Osgood-Schlatter (Latin name)

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

Osgood-Schlatter is seen with children in puberty. Pain, soreness and swelling at the tip of the shinbone sneak up and are enhanced when the leg is stretched against something. The treatment is relief. The child recovers and can once again participate in sports like other children.

Osgood-Schlatter is an affliction of the knee typically seen with boys in the age of 10 to 15 years and girls in the age of 8 to 13 years. Often, it affects both knees. The child complains about pains in the knees without being injured. The pains are worsened by running, jumping and walking up stairs. Typically, the pains worsen by stretching the leg against something. Right below the kneecap, on the shin, you feel a sore lump.

The first time around, the treatment for Osgood-Schlatter is complete cessation of activity that causes the pain and painkillers. After several weeks you can start a very light rehabilitation of the knee – it should not be painful. It is critical that the child end all activity, when it has pain in the knee.

All children with Osgood-Schlatter recovers but it can take from months to years before the child is able to do sports at maximum output.

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Painkilling medication like paracetamol can diminish the pains.

What can you do?

It is critical that the child end all activity that causes the pains. Typically, this is football, handball and badminton. Exemption from physical education in school will often be necessary for a period of time. When the child can walk and run without pain, rehabilitation is slowly begun. Pain can arise at night that can be soothed with painkillers.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

When the child complains about repeated incidents with pains in the knees in connection with physical activity. If the child complains about pains in the leg and limps. The doctor can prescribe painkilling medication.

Contact the doctor immediately

This is never necessary.