Knee > Osgood-Schlatter Disease > Treatments

    Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Home Recovery

Rest and various other treatments can help you cope with the symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease, but you may need to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce the pain. If your symptoms generally decrease or disappear when you are not engaged in strenuous physical activity, you still may need to reduce pain and inflammation in the hours immediately after exercise. This can be done by taking anti-inflammatories, applying ice to the affected area of your knee for about 20 minutes, and elevating your knee to restrict blood flow to the area. Icing should be done up to four times a day, and definitely after play or exercise, for as long as pain persists. It is important to follow the directions on the bottle when taking anti-inflammatories. Try to take them with food to help prevent the most common side effect - stomach irritation or upset. Excessive use of these medicines can cause ulcers, kidney problems, liver problems, and bleeding problems. You may want to contact your physician prior to starting. It usually is OK to use anti-inflammatories before exercise, but check with your physician before making this a routine.

Rehabilitation [top]

If you have had your knee immobilized in a brace or cast during treatment for Osgood-Schlatter disease, your rehabilitation is crucial to restoring leg strength and flexibility as well as preventing your condition from getting worse. Stretching is particularly important because what often happens during a growth spurt is that the quadriceps have not increased their flexibility in relation to the lengthening of the bone. Strengthening should focus on the quadriceps and hamstrings, and can include exercises such as straight-leg raises, wall slides, leg curls, and quadriceps contractions. These exercises can be done at home or under the supervision of a physical therapist. While doing these exercises, it is important to remember to go slowly and not to push yourself to the point where you feel pain. It is preferable to do more repetitions of each exercise rather than fewer repetitions with higher resistance. To reap the maximum benefit from these exercises, they should be performed regularly until you have stopped growing.


   Knee strengthening exercises: Kneecap (patella) injuries

Prevention [top]

It is probably unrealistic to expect to prevent Osgood-Schlatter disease, simply because it is related to natural growth spurts. But you can take steps to minimize its effects. Exercises that strengthen the quadriceps and hamstrings, such as straight-leg raises and leg curls, can prevent the condition from getting worse. Avoiding overuse is important, as is modifying the specific activity. In soccer, for instance, if you are taking all the free kicks, you may have to relinquish that role for a while. If you play an outside position, you could be moved to an inside position to lessen the amount of running required. If you are a gymnast who has developed Osgood-Schlatter disease from repetitive jumping, for example, you may have to modify or stop using dismounts in the early, acute phase of the disease. Occasionally, an athlete may have a foot problem that can contribute to Osgllod-Schlatter disease. In this instance, custom-made shoe inserts (orthotics) may be effective in decreasing stress on the knee and lower leg. See your doctor for a complete evaluation.

Bracing and Immobilization
Patellar Tendon Strap
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications
   Home Recovery
Physical Therapy

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