When you have a teenage child that is an avid sports enthusiast and athlete, you may wonder whether or not all of the intense training and physical activity they engage in on a regular basis is the healthiest choice for them. After all, their bodies are still growing and developing and the physical pressure they put on their joints can be immense. And, if your child develops a swelling in the cartilage below the knee and is subsequently diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease, you may think your worst fears have become a reality. Get to know some of the treatment options for your child's Osgood-Schlatter disease so that you can help them recover and so that you can avoid the worries you may have about your child's continued love of sports and athletics.

Treating the Symptoms Rather than the Condition

Luckily, Osgood-Schlatter disease often will subside on its own when your child's bones are done growing. It can be difficult to gauge when this will be as it varies from child to child but is usually sometime in the 4 year span between 14 and 18 (though sometimes later).

Many doctors will recommend that parents and teens wait to treat the condition aggressively, preferring to let the condition clear up naturally. In the meantime, the focus would then be on treating the symptoms of your child's Osgood-Schlatter disease.

These treatments can include resting and icing the knee and the area around the knee. It can also include over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory pain medications to help reduce the inflammation and swelling as well as the discomfort that your child is experiencing.

Luckily, while treating these symptoms, as long as your child's condition does not become severe, they can still play their sports and continue training. They may need gel inserts in their shoes or supportive knee braces and pads to help reduce discomfort and protect the area from injury that could worsen the condition.

Surgery or Other Interventions

In rare cases, the persistence of Osgood-Schlatter disease symptoms and issues or the severity of the symptoms can result in the need for more extensive interventions. Surgery is sometimes necessary to help remedy the severe or lasting pain and discomfort.

If your child's Osgood-Schlatter disease leaves their knee with a knob-like appearance and causes them pain even after their bones have stopped growing, they may require orthopedic surgery. The procedure is performed by an orthopedic surgeon and involves removing a portion of the bone that is protruding in the knee and that is causing that continued pain and inflammation of the tissues in the knee joint.

Other interventions for severe Osgood-Schlatter disease can include completely removing any weight from the knee until the swelling and pain subside and may even involve putting your child in an orthopedic brace or cast to keep the leg in proper position for healing and inflammation reduction.

Now that you know a few of the treatment options for your teen athlete's Osgood-Schlatter disease, you can better help them recover from this condition and feel better in the meantime. If you have more questions, contact a specialist like the Surgery Center of Kenai.