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Osgood-Schlatter Disease

It is important to realize taht the athletically minded aged 10 to 15 year old youngster can get pain from Osgood-Schlatter disease in one of the knees. In this case the pain is localized at the insertion of the quadriceps tendon (patellar tendon) at the “tibial tubercle” just below the knee. In particular, the anatomical location is at the upper end of the tibia bone.

Notably, as the bone is still growing at this age, the growth plate in this location experiences a growth plate injury much easier with excessive traction from resisted knee extension. For this reason running, soccer playing and other sports are all high risk activities in this age group.

Indeed, knee X-rays taken from the side show a profile of this area and demonstrate fragmentation of the tibial tubercle allowing the physician to diagnose Osgood-Schlatter disease.

Treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease

In general, treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease consists of rest, avoiding the sport that precipitated this including excessive exercises that would have involved resisted knee extension. For one thing, unfortunately it takes often several weeks or even months before Osgood-Schlatter disease heals, but it usually heals without any complications. Furthermore, complicated or chronic forms need attention from an orthopedic surgeon. Surgery is rarely required (Ref.3, p. 2414).


1. The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 157.

2. ABC of rheumatology, second edition, edited by Michael L. Snaith , M.D., BMJ Books, 1999. Chapter 4.

3. The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 270.

4. Wheeless’ Textbook of Orthopaedics:

5. Goldman: Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 21st ed.(©2000)W.B.Saunders

6. Ferri: Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment, 2004 ed., Copyright © 2004 Mosby, Inc.

7. Rakel: Conn’s Current Therapy 2004, 56th ed., Copyright © 2004 Elsevier

Last modified: June 22, 2019

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.