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.

What are Osgood-Schlatter disease causes and risk factors?

It is felt that stress on the tibia by the patellar tendon tugging on its attachment site during activities involving the quadriceps muscle group (the large muscles of the thigh) predisposes one to the development of Osgood-Schlatter disease. Therefore, jumping activities and prolonged running are risk factors for developing Osgood-Schlatter disease.

What are symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease is felt to be due to recurrent pulling tension of the patellar tendon by the large muscles (quadriceps) of the front of the thigh. The irritation of this pulling can cause local knee pain, inflammation, swelling, and in severe cases, an enlarged area of calcification of the tendon where it attaches to the tibia. The condition often affects both knees.

What specialists treat Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease can be managed by primary-care providers, including pediatricians, family practitioners, and generalists, as well as orthopedists and sports-medicine physicians.

How do health-care professionals diagnose Osgood-Schlatter disease?

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

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/25/2016

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