What is Osgood Schlatters Disease?

Osgood Schlatters disease is a very common cause of knee pain in children and young athletes usually between the ages of 10 and 15. It occurs due to a period of rapid growth, combined with a high level of sporting activity.

These changes result in a pulling force from the patella tendon, on to the tibial tuberosity (bony protrusion at the top of the shin). This area then becomes inflamed, painful and swollen. This is frequent in younger people due to the remaining softness in their bones (from childhood).

What are the symptoms?
* Pain at the tibial tuberosity (or bony bit at the top of the shin) just below the knee
* The tibial tuberosity may become swollen or inflamed and may even become more prominent than the other side.
* Tenderness and pain is worse during and after exercise.
* Pain when contracting the quadriceps against resistance or when contracting the muscles with the leg straight.

What causes Osgood Schlatters disease?
The patella tendon inserts at the tibial tuberosity and through overuse can tug away at the bone causing inflammation. It is seen more often in children involved with running and jumping activities which put a much greater strain on the patella tendon. With repeated trauma new bone grows back during the healing which causes a bony lump which is often felt at the tibial tuberosity. It mainly affects boys aged 10 to 15 years old and should clear up when they stop growing and the tendons become stronger, however, it can occasionally persist into adulthood.