Osgood-Schlatter Disease Animation
Omaha Osgood-Schlatter Disease Animation by Dr. Darren Keiser MD
Osgood-Schlatter Disease Information
Omaha Osgood-Schlatter Disease Information by Dr. Darren Keiser MD
This overuse injury is an inflammation that occurs at the point where the patellar tendon attaches to the tibia. It most commonly affects adolescents. One or both knees may be affected. The growth plate is an area of growing bone that is made of cartilage, and so it is an area of weakness in youth.
Osgood-Schlatter disease most often occurs during growth spurts, when bones, muscles, tendons, and other structures are changing rapidly. Because physical activity puts additional stress on bones and muscles, children who participate in athletics — especially running and jumping sports – are at an increased risk for this condition. However, less active adolescents may also experience this problem.
In most cases of Osgood-Schlatter disease, simple measures like rest, over-the-counter medication, and stretching and strengthening exercises will relieve pain and allow a return to daily activities.
Osgood-Schlatter disease is an overuse injury that occurs in the knee area of growing adolescents. It is caused by inflammation of the tendon below the kneecap (patellar tendon) where it attaches to the shinbone (tibia). Young adolescents who participate in certain sports, including soccer, gymnastics, basketball, and distance running, are most at risk for this disease.
The bones of children and adolescents possess a special area where the bone is growing called the growth plate. Growth plates are areas of cartilage located near the ends of bones. When a child is fully grown, the growth plates harden into solid bone.
Some growth plates serve as attachment sites for tendons, the strong tissues that connect muscles to bones. A bony bump called the tibial tubercle covers the growth plate at the end of the tibia. The group of muscles in the front of the thigh (called the quadriceps) attaches to the tibial tubercle.
When a child is active, the quadriceps muscles pull on the patellar tendon which in turn, pulls on the tibial tubercle. In some children, this repetitive traction on the tubercle leads to inflammation of the growth plate. The prominence, or bump, of the tibial tubercle may become very pronounced.
> Knee pain
> Tenderness below the kneecap
Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment is aimed at reducing the pain and swelling. This may include the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and wrapping the knee until the child can enjoy activity without discomfort or significant pain afterwards.
Symptoms that worsen with activity may require rest for several months, followed by a conditioning program. In some patients, Osgood-Schlatter symptoms may last for 2 to 3 years. However, most symptoms will completely disappear with completion of the adolescent growth spurt, around age 14 for girls and age 16 for boys.
Treatment for Osgood-Schlatter disease focuses on reducing pain and swelling. This typically requires limiting exercise activity until your child can enjoy activity without discomfort or significant pain afterwards. In some cases, rest from activity is required for several months, followed by a strength conditioning program. However, if your child does not have a large amount of pain or a limp, participation in sports may be safe to continue.
Omaha Knee Information by Dr. Darren Keiser MD