About osgood-schlatter disease

What is osgood-schlatter disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease facts

  • Osgood-Schlatter disease is a painful inflammation in the front of the bony leg below the knee.
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease can cause local pain, inflammation, swelling, and calcification.
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease can be diagnosed by the history and examination.
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease can be helped by antiinflammation and pain-relieving medications, ice, and rest.

What is Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a disorder involving painful inflammation of the lower front of the knee, where the large tendon (patellar tendon) attached to the lower portion of the kneecap (patella) attaches to the bone (tibia or shinbone) of the leg below. The condition is characterized by localized pain where the tendon attaches to the tibia and tenderness in this area. Osgood-Schlatter disease is a disease of the growing child and is predominantly seen in young adolescent boys. It is felt that stress on the bone from the tendon tugging it during activities leads to Osgood-Schlatter disease.

What are the symptoms for osgood-schlatter disease?

Knee Pain and Swelling just below the kneecap are the main indicators of Osgood-Schlatter disease. Pain usually worsens during certain activities, such as running, kneeling and jumping, and eases with rest.

The condition usually occurs in just one knee, but it can affect both knees. The discomfort can last from weeks to months and can recur until your child stops growing.

When to see a doctor

Call your child's doctor if Knee Pain interferes with your child's ability to perform daily activities. Seek medical attention if the knee is swollen and red, or if the Knee Pain is associated with fever, locking or instability of the knee joint.

What are the causes for osgood-schlatter disease?

During activities that involve running, jumping and bending — such as soccer, basketball, volleyball and ballet — your child's thigh muscles (quadriceps) pull on the tendon that connects the kneecap to the growth plate at the top part of the shinbone.

This repeated stress can cause the tendon to pull on the growth plate where the tendon inserts into the shinbone, resulting in the pain and swelling associated with Osgood-Schlatter disease. Some children's bodies try to close that gap with new bone growth, which can result in a bony lump at that spot.

What are the treatments for osgood-schlatter disease?

Patients with Osgood-Schlatter disease can be helped by antiinflammation and pain-relieving medications, ice, activity modification, and rest. Osgood-Schlatter disease typically goes away over time (months to years after the normal bone growth stops). Some adults who have had Osgood-Schlatter disease are left with "knobby" appearance to the front of the knee. In rare cases, if a bone fragment in this area continues to cause pain in adulthood, it may require surgery to remove.

What are the risk factors for osgood-schlatter disease?

The main risk factors for Osgood-Schlatter disease are:

  • Age. Osgood-Schlatter disease occurs during puberty's growth spurts. Age ranges differ by sex because girls enter puberty earlier than do boys. Osgood-Schlatter disease typically occurs in boys ages 12 to 14 and girls ages 10 to 13.
  • Sex. Osgood-Schlatter disease is more common in boys, but the gender gap is narrowing as more girls become involved with sports.
  • Sports. The condition happens most often with sports that involve running, jumping and swift changes in direction.
  • Flexibility. Tightness in the quadriceps muscles can increase the pull of the kneecap's tendon on the growth plate at the top of the shinbone.

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