Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Definition

Osgood-Schlatter disease is inflammation of the bone and surrounding soft tissue just below the knee. It occurs at the point where the shinbone attaches to the tendon of the kneecap.

The Knee
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Causes

Osgood-Schlatter disease is caused by repeated tension or stress on the upper part of the shinbone during growth spurts.

Risk Factors

Osgood-Schlatter disease is more common in males and in children 10 to 18 years of age. :

Factors that may increase your risk of getting this condition include

  • Rapid growth spurts
  • Activities that stress the patellar tendon, such as jogging, jumping, and sudden turning
  • Being overweight

Symptoms

Osgood-Schatter disease may cause:

  • Pain, swelling, and/or tenderness just below the knee that usually worsens during physical activity
  • A swollen, painful bump just below the knee

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms, medical history, and physical activity. An examination of your knee will be done.

Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:

Treatment

Osgood-Schlatter disease may go away when the bones and tendons have finished growing. The bump may be permanent.

Treatment may include:

Limited Exercise

The area will need time to heal:

  • Activities that place stress on the patellar tendon will need to be avoided until the swelling and pain go away.
  • A strap, brace, or elastic bandage may need to be used to stabilize and support the area as it heals.
  • You may be referred to a physical therapist to strengthen the affected muscles.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy may be needed to strengthen the affected muscles.

Pain Relief

Pain and swelling may be relieved with:

  • Ice compresses during a flare-up or after exercise
  • An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen
  • A local injection of cortisone in severe cases

Note : Aspirin is not recommended for children with a current or recent viral infection. Check with your doctor before giving your child aspirin.

Surgery

If the patellar tendon has pulled away from the shinbone, surgery may be needed to repair the tendon and remove fragments of bone. In most cases, surgery is not needed.

Prevention

To prevent the occurrence or recurrence of Osgood-Schlatter disease:

  • Encourage overweight children to lose weight.
  • Encourage children to get moderate exercise.
  • Ask your child's doctor for stretching and strengthening exercises for the shinbone/patellar tendon.

Revisions

Please note, not all procedures included in this resource library are available at Allegiance Health or performed by Allegiance Health physicians.

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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Regular exercise, such as walking, playing tennis, weight lifting, yoga or using a rowing machine can reduce the likelihood of bone fractures in people with osteoporosis.