Osgood-Schlatter disease is inflammation of the bone and surrounding soft tissue just below the knee. It occurs at the point where the tibia (shinbone) attaches to the tendon of the kneecap (patellar tendon).
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Osgood-Schlatter disease is caused by repeated tension or stress on the upper part of the shinbone during its growth spurts.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and physical activity, and examine your knee. Diagnosis is based on the symptoms. In some cases, you may have an x-ray or an ultrasound of the knee.
Osgood-Schlatter disease may go away once the bones and tendons have finished growing.
Treatment may include:
If the patellar tendon has pulled away from the shinbone, surgery may be needed to repair the tendon and remove fragments of bone. In most cases, surgery is not needed.
To prevent the occurrence or recurrence of Osgood-Schlatter disease:
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Physical Therapy Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Physical Therapy Canada
American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org. Accessed October 11, 2005.
Aronen JG and Garrick JG. Sports-induced inflammation in the lower extremities. Hosp Pract. 1999;34:51.
Beers MH. The Merck Manual of Medical Information. 2nd ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories; 2003.
Ducher G, Cook J, Lammers G, Coombs P, Ptazsnik R, Black J, Bass SL. The ultrasound appearance of the patellar tendon attachment to the tibia in young athletes is conditional on gender and pubertal stage. J Sci Med Sport. 2010;13(1):20-23.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov. Accessed October 11, 2005.
Pihlajamäki HK, Visuri TI. Long-term outcome after surgical treatment of unresolved osgood-schlatter disease in young men: surgical technique. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2010;92: Suppl 1 Pt 2:258-264.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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