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Osgood-Schlatter/knee problems

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bigtiny

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My 10-year-old daughter, who is competing Prep-Op, is having a lot of problems with her knees (both). I have taken her to see her pediatrician and to get x-rays (we don't have the results yet). Next Monday she meets with a Sports Medicine specialist to see if she needs Physical Therapy.

The pediatrician thinks she has Osgood-Schlatter's in her knees. From what I've read, it sounds like that it what it is. Has anyone had experience with this? Are there strengthening or stretching exercises that my daughter can do to help her get through this? Right now she has cut back to only practicing 4-6 hours/week and she ices her knees whenever she has pain.

The coaches seem to know very little about this condition and have had her doing exercises which I have read are very bad for knees (like frog jumps). Anything anyone can share with me about dealing with this condition would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
I had Osgood's, but it was a long time ago and techniques may have come a long way in dealing with it. I was told it was something I'd grow out of, and I did. Until that happened I was told to take anti-inflammatory meds 30 minutes before workouts. I'd tell you what it was, but I don't remember. I know it was otc, and I barely looked at them before swallowing them when my mom gave them to me. It really helped though, there was a noticeable difference. If icing doesn't prove to be enough I'd definetly ask the doc about over the counter options.

As far as frog jumps go, I'd blacklist them. At least until you have a doctors diagnosis. whatever the case, I'd ask the sports doc what is acceptable as far as range of motion and how often she should be doing anything requiring deep knee bends.
 

matthewmovement

New Member
Jan 4, 2009
41
Missouri
Osgood Schlatter's is bad news. I was a special case. I got it when I was twelve and was expected to grow out of it by the time I was 13/14 ish. However, It took me an extra two years, it's sad really, it's the reason I didn't start gymnastics earlier.

Icing is very important. Do so immediately after all work outs. I noticed that stretching seemed to help me, even if painful at first. I also noticed that doing a few very, very slow bodyweight squats helped to alleviate some of the pain.

Good luck to you and your daughter. Hope things work out.
 

gym-mom-fla

Member
Proud Parent
Nov 15, 2008
185
Florida
Hi there, I am new to posting here and your thread caught my eye. My 7 yo was recently diagnosed with this as well. We think it was because of the big increase in her hours at the gym over Christmas break. Basically, it is an overuse injury and the way my ped ortho explained it to me, it won't do long term damage and she will eventually grow out of it (being only 7, I 'm thinking its sticking around for a good bit). Icing for 20 minutes 3 times a day has helped alot as well as taking motrin, when needed. I don't love giving Motrin on a daily basis but I don't want her in discomfort either. But the thing that has helped her the most is wearing a knee strap. It is a band that velcroes on right under the knee cap. It puts pressure on a place that I guess offsets her pain. It doesn't hinder her range of motion or performance at all. It really has made a world of difference. I plan on having her monitored with our ped ortho on a somewhat regular basis, just to make sure everything is ok . Hope this helps you and good luck to your daughter!
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I've never had it, but everyone I know who had this and Severs (and even shin splints to some extent unless they were really bad) were told they could keep training with some restrictions, and to deal with the pain they should ice (freeze water in dixie cups and peel them back and you can do "ice massage" for short periods), OTC anti-inflammatory (Advil, Motrin or generic ibuprofen - consult doctor and notify them of any other medications she is on), and stretching carefully more often, basically making sure not to get stiff (some were told to make sure when sitting at school to stretch their legs out, roll the ankles around, flex the feet - make sure the whole leg/ankle/foot isn't getting stiff).

It is really important in all training to minimize weight bearing activity where the knees go over the ankle - i.e. the leg should not be bent in weight bearing stretches and conditioning more than 90 degrees. I remind kids of this during every stretching period because the inclination is to bend it that far. Personally I think SOME jump training (like frog or squat jumps) where the knees are bent more than 90 degrees and the weight isn't in contact with the ground for an extended period, is generally okay, but it should be treated carefully, and if there is an individual tendency towards knee pain I would forgo it in favor of alternatives. She should also probably avoid sitting cross legged. I would let the school teacher and PE teacher know as well because I know some kids who were influenced into doing stuff they really shouldn't have been doing on an injury because the school PE teacher wasn't aware of the extent (especially with elementary schoolers they are not always able to stand up to an adult about it).

Also, I would have her avoid using ankle weights, but that is just my inclination. You may just have to go to the coach after tha appointment and say "we were told this, this, and this by the doctor so X can't do any of that. We really have enjoyed working with you this year and we are glad that we have an understanding coach now that we are dealing with an injury" etc. just be firm but nice and hopefully he'll get the point. Most coaches can and will follow instructions but if they're told more generally just what the diagnosis is and that she should try to stay off it, they don't really know how seriously to take it and will probably be inclined to push the limits and see how she feels. If you see her doing the activities while there is still pain then I would say "I noticed X doing frog jumps [or whatever the specialist says not to do] tonight and just wanted to remind you that we have been advised by a doctor she cannot do them until further notice. I know you have a whole group to be in charge of so I will talk to X about being more vocal about what she can and cannot do with regards to her knee problems."

The brace mentioned before sold under the name "Cho-Pat", I know some girls who have used them. Here is a link: https://secure.cho-pat.com/products/product.php?product_type=26
 

Granny Smith

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jun 21, 2007
1,444
Country
USA
Osgood Schlatter is a growth disease and it's not really a disease. It is associated with a child who is experiencing growth spurts. It is very common. Osgood's is in the knee and Sever's is the same thing in the heel. Osgood's you usually develop a bump right below the knee cap and there is these bands you can buy to wear over the bump to help or you will see some with tape in the same area trying to accomplish the same thing. For Sever's you can use a heel cup for pain and also never go bare foot and always wear a good pair of jogging sneakers.

You can continue any sport (it happens to a lot of athletes, not just gymnast) if you can bear the pain. Pain meds (Motrin, etc.) and ice after every practice can help. Also the pain can come and go, usually comes when a child experiences a growth spurt and once the body adjusts the pain might decrease and then increase again with another spurt. Once a child is finished going through puberty then these 2 "diseases" usually are over. Also, as PP said, stretch, stretch, stretch that definitely helps too.

I will say though with Sever's you do have to be careful with the growth plates in the heels, you don't want to damage them and with tumbling and such that is a slim possibility.
 
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Deleted member 1703

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If you put Osgood into the search option at the top of the Chalk bucket screen, you will find several threads about this.

My daughter got it about a year ago and has since had to give up gymnastics. She found some relief from using some medication called Oscon (you can google it) but even 6 months after stopping gymnastics, she still has the "bumps" below her knees.

We tried everything - physiotherapy, electro therapy on the swellings. Lots of things helped a bit but still the pain kept reoccurring.

There can be long term damage if the groove that the patella slides along is damaged through the swelling, so I would not discount this completely.

Anyway good luck - I hope she recovers soon.
 
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