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Home :: Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter (say: "oz-good shlot-ter") disease is one of the most common causes of knee pain in young athletes. It causes swelling, pain and tenderness just below the knee, over the shin bone (also called the tibia). It occurs mostly in boys who are having a growth spurt during their pre-teen or teenage years. One or both knees may be affected.


  • Repeated, overzealous conditioning routines, such as running, jumping or jogging.
  • Overweight.

Signs and symptoms

The following are the most common symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease. However, each adolescent may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • tenderness below the knee
  • swelling around the knee
  • limping (may worsen following activities)

The symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease may resemble other conditions or medical problems of the knee. Always consult your adolescent's physician for a diagnosis.


A doctor can make a diagnosis during a physical examination. A bone x-ray may be normal, may show soft tissue swelling, or may demonstrate fragmentation of the the tibial tubercle.


Medical Treatment - Not necessary for mild cases. For moderate or severe cases, the knee may be immobilized with a cast for approximately 2 months.


  • For minor discomfort, you may use non-prescription drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroid injections if other treatment fails. Injection may weaken tendons. Avoid them if possible to allow the condition more time to heal with rest and simpler treatment.

Home Treatment

  • Use heat to relieve pain. Warm compresses, heating pads, warm whirlpool baths and heat lamps are effective.
  • Wear a knee pad below the knee during exercise.
  • Apply ice to the affected area immediately before and after exercise (if your doctor has cleared you for increased activity).
  • Avoid kneeling.
  • Help an overweight child or adolescent lose weight.
  • Encourage your child to exercise moderately, avoiding extremes.
  • Being properly warmed up before engaging in athletics and performing cooling down exercises afterward also may help.
  • Avoiding overuse -- for example, excessive running such as training for a marathon -- may be helpful.

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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.