Osgood-Schlatter Disease

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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 signs and symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease is felt to be due, in part, to recurrent pulling tension on the kneecap tendon by the bulky muscles of the front of the thigh. The irritation of this pulling can cause local pain, inflammation, swelling, and in severe cases, an enlarged area of calcification of the tendon where it attaches to the tibia that is visible with an X-ray test.

How is Osgood-Schlatter disease diagnosed?

Osgood-Schlatter disease can be diagnosed clinically based on the typical symptoms and physical examination findings. X-ray testing is sometime performed in order to document the status of the calcification at the insertion of kneecap (patellar) tendon. Sometimes a tiny piece of the growth area of the tibial attachment is actually pulled away by the inflamed tendon.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/18/2013

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