Osgood Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter disease is an injury that causes pain and swelling below the knee joint in children. This disease occurs when there is inflammation of the growth plate where new bone tissue forms in the lower leg. Osgood-Schlatter disease is common in young athletes who participate in sports that require excessive jumping and running.


Osgood-Schlatter disease is caused by irritation in the growth plate. These areas are made of cartilage instead of bone when children are growing. Because cartilage is not as strong as bone, stress from overuse, sports, and growth spurts can cause the growth plate to swell and become painful.


The most common symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease is pain and swelling under the front of the knee. The thigh muscles may also feel tight, causing a limp. Only one knee is affected in most cases, but the disease can occur in both knees.


Physicians will conduct a physical exam, looking for tenderness, pain, and swelling. X-rays may also be used to look at the bones in the knee and leg.


Osgood-Schlatter disease typically stops when a child’s bones stop growing and will not require any significant treatment. Physicians may recommend rest, over the counter pain medications, and physical therapy. In very rare cases where pain is debilitating and does not subside, surgery may be required.

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