Osgood-Schlatter disease: A sporty teenager

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My 14-year-old daughter has developed a tender lump at the top of her shin bone. It seems to swell and then go down. Her PE teacher said it will go away by itself if she rests, but she is a keen hockey player and it is difficult to persuade her not to play.

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

This is probably Osgood-Schlatter disease, which affects sporty teenagers. It is an inflammation of the spot where a tendon inserts itself into the tibia (the shin bone). It usually affects young people in their adolescent growth spurt, and exercise always makes it worse.It is not serious, but it can be very painful. The most common symptom is pain at the top of the shin bone and a boggy swelling just below the kneecap. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen will help the pain, and cold ice packs will reduce the swelling. But the ultimate treatment is enforced rest the PE teacher is right. It is a bit like tennis elbow of the knee: both conditions are inflammations caused by excessive and unusual use of particular muscles where they attach to bones.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to health@independent.co.uk. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.

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