Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common knee condition in adolescents, particularly during growth spurts. It involves inflammation of the patellar ligament where it attaches to the tibial tubercle, a bony prominence at the top of the shinbone. Repetitive stress on the growth plate during physical activities, especially sports, leads to pain, swelling, and a noticeable lump below the kneecap. Osgood-Schlatter’s typically resolves with rest, ice, and reduced physical activity. Stretching and strengthening exercises may help prevent recurrence. In most cases, the condition improves as the adolescent finishes growing and the bones mature.

Symptoms

Osgood-Schlatter disease typically presents with the following symptoms:

  1. Knee Pain: Pain is a primary symptom, commonly occurring at the front of the knee, just below the kneecap. The pain may be aggravated by activities such as running, jumping, or climbing stairs.
  2. Swelling: Swelling or tenderness may be present at the site where the patellar tendon attaches to the tibial tubercle, a bony prominence at the top of the shinbone.
  3. Bump or Lump: A visible and sometimes palpable bump or lump may develop just below the kneecap due to inflammation and stress on the growth plate.
  4. Increased Pain with Activity: Pain tends to worsen during physical activities and sports that involve bending and straightening the knee, especially activities that put strain on the patellar tendon.
  5. Tightness in Quadriceps Muscles: Tightness or stiffness in the quadriceps muscles (thigh muscles) may be experienced.
  6. Pain Relieved with Rest: Rest often alleviates the pain associated with Osgood-Schlatter disease. However, resuming physical activities may trigger symptoms again.

It’s important to note that Osgood-Schlatter disease is typically a self-limiting condition, and symptoms often improve as the adolescent finishes growing and the bones mature. However, managing symptoms through rest, ice, and sometimes physical therapy may be recommended to provide relief during the active phase of the condition. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for further evaluation and guidance.

Diagnosis

Osgood-Schlatter disease is most often diagnosed by the symptoms. An x ray may be normal, or show an injury, or, more typically, show that the growth area is in fragments.

Treatment

Osgood-Schlatter disease is temporary and the pain usually goes away without treatment. Applying ice to the knee when pain begins helps relieve inflammation and is sometimes used along with stretching and strengthening exercises. The practitioner may advise you to limit participation in vigorous sports. Children who wish to continue moderate or less stressful sports activities may need to wear knee pads for protection and apply ice to the knee after activity. If there is a great deal of pain, sports activities may be limited until the discomfort becomes tolerable. Our chiropractor, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto will treat Osgood-Schlatter patients by reducing pain. Dr. Luciano Di Loreto uses a combination of treatments including cryotherapy, electrotherapy, ultrasound and laser therapy.