Osgood-Schlatter disease is a fairly benign condition that involves young athletes. It is an apophysitis (an inflammation of the growth center) at the top of the tibia where the patella tendon inserts. It is almost exclusively seen in athletes around the time of their growth spurt, although occasionally an adult complains of pain at a prominent Osgood-Schlatter’s ossicle that never completely resolved.

Signs and symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease

Young athletes often complain of pain in the front of the knee, especially where the patella tendon inserts into the tibial tuberosity. He or she often complains that this area is larger than the other side. Often the athlete will complain of pain with sports, exercise, and even daily activities such as going up and down stairs and sitting for long periods of time.

Also read:
5 common gymnastics injuries

Young woman with knee pain from Osgood-Schlatter disease

Diagnosis of Osgood-Schlatter disease

In the office, a sports medicine physician usually can diagnose Osgood-Schlatter disease fairly easily by exam and x-rays. Often the tibial tubercle will be more prominent than normal, and the athlete will have tenderness to palpation right at this area. X-rays often show fragmentation of the growth center at the tibial tuberosity. More detailed radiographic studies, such as MRI’s, are rarely needed.

Treatment and return to sports

Treatment is almost always symptomatic. Usually a combination of any of activity modification, knee sleeves or patellar tendon straps, home strengthening exercises or physical therapy, stretching exercises, and ice usually relieve the symptoms. Very rarely surgical treatment to remove the prominent ossicle can be employed, although this is typically done more in adults. Return to sports and other activities can occur when the athlete is symptom-free.

Discover The Solution To Your Biggest Knee Injury Challenge Even If You Have No Medical Knowledge and You’ve Looked Everywhere and Haven’t Been Able To Find an Answer!
Click here to learn more!

Recommended Products and Resources
Click here to go to Dr. David Geier’s Amazon Influencer store!
Due to a large number of questions I have received over the years asking about products for health, injuries, performance, and other areas of sports, exercise, work and life, I have created an Amazon Influencer page. While this information and these products are not intended to treat any specific injury or illness you have, they are products I use personally, have used or have tried, or I have recommended to others. THE SITE MAY OFFER HEALTH, FITNESS, NUTRITIONAL AND OTHER SUCH INFORMATION, BUT SUCH INFORMATION IS DESIGNED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THE CONTENT DOES NOT AND IS NOT INTENDED TO CONVEY MEDICAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR, NOR DOES IT REPLACE, PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. THE SITE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ACTIONS OR INACTION ON A USER’S PART BASED ON THE INFORMATION THAT IS PRESENTED ON THE SITE. Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.