Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Friday, April 01, 2011

Osgood-Schlatter disease is far less frightful than its name. Though its one of the most common causes of knee pain in adolescents, its really not a disease at all, but rather an overuse injury. Dr. Edward Hill explains more in todays Sixty Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Osgood-Schlatter disease is an inflammation of the bone, cartilage or tendon at the top of the shinbone, where the tendon from the kneecap attaches. Most often only one knee is affected.

Osgood-Schlatter usually strikes adolescents around the beginning of their growth spurts. Growth spurts make kids vulnerable because their bones, muscles and tendons are growing quickly and not always at the same rate. With exercise, differences in size and strength between the muscle groups place unusual stress on the growth plate at the top of the shinbone.

The pain may be anywhere from mild and felt only during activity to severe and constant. Other symptoms may include:

pain that worsens with exercise

relief from pain with rest

swelling or tenderness under the knee and over the shinbone

limping after exercise, or

tightness of the muscles surrounding the knee

Osgood-Schlatter disease usually goes away by age 18 or when a teenagers bones mature. Until then, the treatment is rest and symptom relief.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.