Osgood-Schlatter Disease: Knee Pain In Children

Have you heard of Osgood-Schlatter disease? It’s a common cause of knee pain and swelling in children.

In this blog, we take an in-depth look at the condition and discuss:

  • What causes Osgood-Schlatter disease,
  • Which children are susceptible to the condition,
  • How it is diagnoses, and
  • Common treatments prescribed to children with the disease.

What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease is a condition that causes pain and swelling below the knee joint, where the patellar tendon attaches to the top of the shin bone (tibia), a spot called the tibial tuberosity.

There may also be inflammation of the patellar tendon, which stretches over the kneecap.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease Causes

Osgood-Schlatter’s is caused by irritation of the growth plate.

Bones grow from their respective ends at the growth plate and that’s made up of cartilaginous soft tissue instead of bone.

The quadriceps tendon attaches to the patellar bone and that applies tension to the patellar tendon inserted at the tibial tuberosity.

Activities such as bending, squatting or running will cause soft tissue swelling and pain around the growth plate region of the knee and induce pain and swelling.

Which children are more susceptible to the disease?

This condition usually only occurs in children, because of the growth plate being open.

The following children tend to be more susceptible to the condition:

  • Those aged 9-14 who are going through a growth spurt,
  • Those who are highly active and play sport the involves lots of running and jumping.

Once the growth plate has fused, then the issue should likely resolve and shouldn’t be an issue in adulthood.

How is Osgood-Schlatter diagnosed?

Osgood-Schlatter syndrome is mainly diagnosed by clinical presentation (presenting symptoms and physical examination) such as pain induced by physical activity and pain occurring just below the knee.

However, additional tests, such as an x-ray or ultrasound scan, may be used to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease Treatment

If your child is experiencing knee pain, it’s important to seek medical advice to ensure you get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

For Osgood-Schlatter treatment can include:

  • Activity modification or relative rest that is guided by pain levels.
  • Ice packs after physical activity.
  • Gait assessment from a podiatrist to assist with this mechanical gait function.
  • Custom orthotic inserts.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease: Knee Pain in Children

Do you think your child might have Osgood-Schlatter Disease? Get in touch with us today for professional advice and diagnosis.