Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
If your child has knee pain during or after physical activity and it doesn't improve with ice or rest, make an appointment with your child's doctor. After an initial exam, your doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in knee injuries or sports medicine.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Bring to the appointment a written list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of your child's symptoms
- Information about medical problems your child has had in the past
- Information about medical problems common in your family
- All the medications and dietary supplements your child takes
- Questions you want to ask
Below are some basic questions to ask a doctor who is examining your child for possible Osgood-Schlatter disease. If any additional questions occur to you during your visit, don't hesitate to ask.
- What is the most likely cause of my child's signs and symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- Are any tests needed to confirm the diagnosis?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- Do you expect my child will be able to continue in his or her current sport?
- Does my child need to make any changes to his or her activities, such as playing a different position or training with different exercises? If so, for how long?
- What signs or symptoms would signal a need for my child to take a complete break from athletics?
- What other self-care measures would help my child?
- Should we schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor my child's progress?
- Should my child see a specialist?
What to expect from your doctor
Your child's doctor is likely to ask a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to talk about in-depth. Your doctor may ask your child:
- What are your symptoms?
- When did you first notice these symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been getting worse?
- How severe is your pain?
- Does your pain occur before, during or after your workouts — or is it constant?
- Have you noticed any swelling near your kneecap?
- Have you experienced any problems with mobility or stability?
- What is your regular exercise or sports-training routine?
- Have you recently made any changes to your training routine, such as training harder or longer, or using new techniques?
- Are you able to tolerate the pain you experience while playing your sport at your usual intensity?
- Are your symptoms affecting your ability to complete normal, daily tasks, such as walking up stairs?
- Have you tried any at-home treatments so far? If so, has anything helped?
- Have you recently had any injuries that may have caused knee damage?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
- What medications are you currently taking, including vitamins and supplements?
What you can do in the meantime
In the time leading up to your appointment, try self-care measures at home. Your child should avoid using the affected joint in ways that cause or worsen pain. Stretching and icing the affected area also may help. If your child is uncomfortable, try using over-the-counter pain medications.
- Moutzouros V, et al. Osteochondroses. In. DeLee JC, et al. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1111724571&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..00022-1--sc2&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..00022-1--s0125&uniqId=234606866-3. Accessed Feb. 1, 2011.
- Mercier LR. Osgood-Schlatter disease. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1111724571&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00024-X--sc0055&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00024-X--sc0055&uniqId=234606866-3. Accessed Feb. 1, 2011.
- Kienstra AJ, et al. Osgood-Schlatter disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 1, 2011.
- Chang-Miller A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 6, 2011.