What Is Osgood Schlatter Disease?

Osgood-Schlatter Disease is a painful knee condition impacting the upper shinbone. It occurs most often in active teenagers. During a growth spurt, the tendon connecting the quadricep muscle to the knee joint becomes tight and puts pressure on the growing bone. This strain becomes worse with exercise involving the quadriceps.

This condition is not serious in nature and most often corrects itself in a few weeks or months when the growth spurt is complete. Boys are more often affected than girls, with boys most likely to experience the condition between 13 and 14 years of age, and girls from 10 to 11 years of age. Symptoms mostly occur on one side of the body but it affects both knees for 1 in 3 people.


The most common causes of Osgood-Schlatter Disease are:

  • Growth spurts.
  • Periods of increased physical activity involving kicking, running or jumping and sports that involve vigorous use of the quadriceps.
  • A prior knee injury before the knee has finished growing.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease Symptoms

Osgood-Schlatter Disease causes swelling and discomfort below the knee. Other symptoms of the condition include:

  • Pain when straightening the knee or squatting to a deep position.
  • Pain when running or travelling up or down stairs.
  • Pain that improves after resting.
  • A swollen tibial tuberosity and irritated skin over the area (the bony bump at the top of the tibia bone in the lower leg).
  • Weakened or smaller quadriceps muscles.


A good podiatrist can diagnose Osgood-Schlatter Disease through history taking, a physical examination of the foot and ankle and a Biomechanical Assessment to study your range of movement, look for swelling in the joint and assess pain experienced through movement. An X-ray, MRI or CT scan may also be recommended to evaluate the stage of the illness.

Osgood Schlatter Disease Treatment

Osgood-Schlatter Disease usually resolves itself with activity modification, a stretching program and knee pad wearing during exercise and pain relief. A knowledgeable podiatrist can create a recovery program for you.

Kinetic Orthotics may also be prescribed to correct abnormalities or imbalances in the feet and legs. In rare cases where people don’t respond to non-surgical treatments, surgery may be advised.


Regular stretching before and after exercise is advised as a precautionary measure. If you would like to see a podiatrist for knee pain, including possible Osgood Schlatter Disease treatment, then contact us today at Dan Everson Podiatry.

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