What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease?

Cited as one of the most common causes of knee pain, Osgood-Schlatter Disease occurs when the patellar ligament, located near the tibia, becomes inflamed and causes a painful lump to develop below the kneecap. Children and adolescents going through growth spurts most frequently contract Osgood-Schlatter, although adults can also occasionally bear this condition.

Causes

As children and adolescents perform high-energy activities, their thigh muscles pull on the tendon and cartilage that connect the kneecap to the shin. This continual strain separates the patellar ligament from the shin, resulting in pain and swelling. Occasionally, children’s bodies attempt to close the gap made by Osgood-Schlatter with new bone growth, which can create a visible, bony lump beneath the skin.

Adults most commonly suffer from Osgood-Schlatter Disease as the result of a sudden growth spurt or an improperly-healed tibial tubercle.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter Disease include:

  • Pain while running or jumping
  • Constant and debilitating discomfort in one or both knees
  • Pain that minimizes with rest
  • Weak or tightened thigh muscles
  • Calcification of tendons
  • Swelling in the tibial area
  • Reddish skin over the affected region

The OrthoCARE Treatment Approach

Although Osgood-Schlatter Disease can sometimes resolve on its own, it may lead to chronic pain and localized inflammation if not carefully monitored by a medical professional. It is also possible that what appears to be Osgood-Schlatter Disease is, in fact, a more dangerous orthopedic issue. If you suspect you may be suffering from Osgood-Schlatter Disease, consult an OrthoCARE surgeon to obtain a proper diagnosis.

At OrthoCARE Institute, a division of the vertically-integrated Lumin Health system, our experienced orthopedic experts are committed to helping you or your child achieve optimal healing when faced with Osgood-Schlatter Disease. During your initial visit, one of our experienced physicians will thoroughly examine the affected knee(s) to ascertain the severity of your condition. Based upon the status of your Osgood-Schlatter, the doctor will then create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique condition and health history.

Symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter Disease will usually disappear after your bones stop growing, but there are a number of conservative treatments that can be recommended to reduce pain and discomfort until that time, such as:

  • Rest
  • Patellar tendon straps
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Focused physical therapy

These methods are all useful methods in combatting this disease and can generally be expected to be part of any Osgood-Schlatter treatment plan.

In rare cases, bone fragments left behind from Osgood-Schlatter Disease cause pain in adulthood. Patients suffering from this complication may find it necessary to explore surgical options in an effort to reduce the appearance of “knobby” knees and eliminate lingering discomfort.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about Osgood-Schlatter Disease or OrthoCARE Institute, North Texas’s premier bone, joint and spinal center. Please get in touch by calling us directly at 972-573-7802 or by filling out the form on our Contact Us page. Our team looks forward to speaking with you!