Osgood-Schlatter syndrome

Osgood-Schlatter syndrome it’s really not a disease, but an overuse injury of the knee. This is one of the most common causes of knee pain in adolescents.

The condition affects guys and girls, (boys ages 13 to 14 and girls ages 11 to 12) especially who are active in sports or participating in competitive sports, involving deep knee bends, jumping, and running, and swift changes of direction. (soccer, basketball, skating, volleyball, etc.) Usually only one knee is affected, but both can be.

Osgood-Schlatter syndrome is mainly diagnosed by:

  • physical examination
  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound scan.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

Risc factors:

  • Age between 11 and 15 years
  • Male sex
  • Rapid skeletal growth
  • Repetitive jumping sports
  • Tight quadriceps (front thigh) muscles,
  • Tight hamstrings (back thigh) muscles

Signs and symptoms:

  • Pain, that worsens with activity (running, jumping, going up and down stairs)
  • Swelling around the knee
  • Tenderness below the kneecap (patella)
  • Red and inflamed skin over the tibial tuberosity
  • Quadriceps muscles can sometimes lose strength and bulk.
  • A small, tender, bony bump may develop just under the patella

Treatment options include:

Osgood-Schlatter syndrome usually resolves by itself within 12 months. Rarely is surgery required for this condition.

  • Activity modification
  • Rest for several months, followed by a conditioning program.
  • Frequent use of icepacks to reduce the local pain and swelling
  • Physical therapy – stretching and strengthening exercises for the quadriceps, hamstring and calf muscles
  • Medications, including painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs

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