Osgood-Schlatter Disease

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Osgood-Schlatter disease (also called Schlatter's disease or osteochondrosis of the tibial tubercle) is inflammation in the top of the shinbone (tibia) where the patellar tendon attaches to a bony mound in the knee called the tibial tubercle. This disease, a common cause of knee pain in children ages 10 to 15, usually flares during periods of rapid growth and then goes away at the end of the child's growth spurt.

Signs and symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease include pain and tenderness in front of the knee and mild swelling or a bump below the kneecap at the top of the shin. This disease usually affects only one knee, though occasionally it affects both knees. Symptoms get worse with exercise or activity, such as jumping, that stretches the tendon and puts traction on the tibial tubercle.

The condition does not require any specific medical treatment. Most children outgrow the problem in 1 or 2 years.

Home treatment for Osgood-Schlatter disease focuses on preventing symptoms and using first aid to reduce pain when symptoms occur. Rest, decreased activity, and other measures may reduce pain until the bone and muscles mature. Surgery is rarely recommended.

Current as of: November 14, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD