What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease and How Long Does It Last?

What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease and How Long Does It Last?
What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease and How Long Does It Last?

Osgood-Schlatter Disease is a knee condition commonly affecting children and adolescents. One of the tell-tale signs of Osgood-Schlatter disease is pain at point of attachment of the kneecap tendon (patellar tendon) to the bony prominence on the shinbone.

Young athletes who participate in running and jumping sports are at an increased risk of developing this condition. However, less-active individuals going through growth spurts may also be affected.

During growth spurts, a new bony matrix is laid down at the edges of long bones such as the upper end of the shinbone. This bone is soft and has more of cartilage tissue. The large quadriceps muscles of the thighs are also connected to the shinbone in the same area. The combination of increased activity levels seen in the children and adolescents along with the immaturity of the new bone can cause the Osgood-Schlatter disease.

Symptoms include pain, swelling, and tenderness on palpation of the tibial tubercle, which is the bony protrusion at the upper end of the shin as well as tightness of the quadriceps muscles.

For growing children and adolescent athletes, treatments are focused on avoiding any activity that increases pain and discomfort, getting enough rest, using pain medications if necessary, and starting a progressive stretching and strengthening program to regain knee function.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease is generally a self-limiting condition. Once the adolescent growth spurt is complete, the ends of bone harden up and symptoms tend to disappear.

If your child’s knee pain continues to persist or gets worse despite the conservative measures as suggested above, consult Dr. Ronak Patel for an assessment and a personalized treatment recommendation.

Dr. Ronak Patel is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon offering a full range of care for all problems of the knee and shoulder with a special interest in complex knee disorders. Book your appointment with Dr. Patel today: (630) 929-2249.