Osgood-Schlatter Disease | Treatment


How is Osgood-Schlatter disease treated?

Osgood-Schlatter disease usually goes away with time. When your child stops growing, the pain and swelling should go away because the patellar tendons become much stronger. Only rarely does Osgood-Schlatter disease persist beyond the growing stage.

Your doctor may want your child to cut down on time spent playing sports until the pain has been gone for 2 to 4 months. Your child may need to avoid any activity that requires deep knee bending. Your child may also need to run at a slower speed or for a shorter amount of time and jump less often.

What else can my child do help relieve the pain?

Your child should apply ice to the painful area. Ice can help prevent swelling and relieve pain. After applying ice, wrap your child’s knee with an elastic bandage and keep your child’s leg elevated.

A memory aid that may help remind you of these four basic treatment steps is the word "RICE":

R = Rest the knee from the painful activity.

I = Ice the affected area for 20 minutes, 3 times a day.

C = Compress the painful area with an elastic bandage.

E = Elevate the leg.

If these treatment steps don't work, your doctor may suggest that your child wear braces that will reduce tension on the patellar tendons and quadriceps. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (one brand name: Tylenol) or ibuprofen (some brand names: Advil, Motrin) may help relieve the pain and swelling. Your child may need to use crutches for a while to allow complete healing. As a last resort, your child's doctor may suggest surgery.

How long will it take for my child's knee to get better?

It may take several weeks or months for the pain to completely stop. When the pain is completely gone, your child may slowly return to his or her previous level of activity.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 06/95