Osgood-Schlatter Disease

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: John Mersch, MD, FAAP
    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

senior woman knee pain

Causes of Knee Pain

Unfortunately, there are other body problems that can cause knee pain to occur in people. Hip and back pain may cause abnormal gait which subsequently causes knee pain. Diseases such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, and lupus may cause knee pain. Infection of the joint, the surrounding skin (cellulitis), the bones (osteomyelitis), or bursa sac (septic bursitis) can cause knee pain. A Baker's cyst (popliteal cyst) can cause knee pain and any compromise of the nerves or vasculature can, too. Less frequent causes of knee pain can be Osgood-Schlatter disease (pain in the kneecap or tibia in children, mainly boys, ages 10 to 15) and osteochondritis dissecans (when blood flow to bone or cartilage is cut off and tissue dies).

Osgood-Schlatter disease facts

  • Osgood-Schlatter disease is a painful inflammation of the upper portion of the tibia (shinbone) approximately 1 inch below the patella (kneecap).
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease can cause local pain, inflammation, swelling, and rarely calcification.
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease can be diagnosed by a thorough history and physical examination.
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease can be helped by anti-inflammation and pain-relieving medications, ice, and rest. Stretching of the quadriceps muscle and hamstring muscles is also helpful.

What is Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a disorder involving painful inflammation where the patellar tendon attaches from the lower portion of the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia). Osgood-Schlatter disease is a condition of the growing child and is predominantly seen in young adolescent boys who are involved in running or jumping sports. As more girls are participating in such athletic events, they also are appearing at their doctor's office with these same complaints. A common age of occurrence is between 10-15 years of age.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/25/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Children's Health & Parenting Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors