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.
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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
Osgood-Schlatter 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
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:
Osgood-Schlatter disease may go away when the bones and tendons have finished growing. The bump may be permanent.
Treatment may include:
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.
Physical therapy may be needed to strengthen the affected muscles.
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.
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.
To prevent the occurrence or recurrence of Osgood-Schlatter disease:
- Encourage overweight children to lose weight.
- Encourage children to get moderate exercise.
- Participate in a variety of sports to avoid repetitive stress.
- Plan periods of time off from a sport. This should be done during the week and over the course of the year.
- Delay specializing in one sport until late adolescence.
- Ask your child's doctor for stretching and strengthening exercises for the shinbone/patellar tendon.
Family Doctor— American Academy of Family Physicians
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
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Last reviewed June 2016 by Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT, GCS Last Updated: 10/5/2016