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Osgood-Schlatter Disease

What is Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease is an overuse condition or injury of the knee that causes pain and swelling below the knee area over the shin bone.

What causes Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease is characterized by inflammation of the patellar tendon and surrounding soft tissues. It is caused by the constant pulling of the patellar tendon on the area below the knee where the tendon attaches.

Illustration demonstrating Osgood-Schlatter disease
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Osgood-Schlatter disease is commonly seen in the growing child and adolescent. This is an age where the bones are typically growing faster than the muscles and tendons. As a result, the muscles and tendons have a tendency to become tight.

Osgood-Schlatter disease is most often seen in preteen and teenage boys from 9 to 13 years old. It is occasionally diagnosed in girls ages 8 to 13. Twenty to 30 percent of the cases affect both knees. Osgood-Schlatter is most common in young athletes who play games or sports that involve running and jumping.

Factors which increase the likelihood of Osgood-Schlatter disease may include the following:

What are the symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease?

The symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease may resemble other conditions or medical problems of the knee. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis. Symptoms may include:

How is Osgood-Schlatter disease diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for Osgood-Schlatter disease may include:

Treatment for Osgood-Schlatter disease:

Specific treatment for Osgood-Schlatter disease will be determined by your child's physician based on:

The goal of treatment is to control the knee pain and limit the child's activities that could aggravate the condition. Treatment may include:

Long-term outlook for a child with Osgood-Schlatter disease:

Osgood-Schlatter disease often resolves with time. Rarely is surgery required for this condition.

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