Osgood-Schlatter disease is type of knee pain commonly found in rapidly growing teenagers/ young adults. The patella tendon connects the kneecap to the top of the tibia at a site called the "tibial tubercle". As the shin bone begins to grow rapidly, it places more stress between the patella tendon and the tibial tubercle which can result in pain, reduced range of motion, and swelling/inflammation.
Osgood-Schlatter's can be accompanied by a raised "bump" at the top of the shin bone 4-6 inches below the knee cap. This symptom is attributed to the way bones grow. Bones grow from their ends through a unique structure called a "growth plate". In the case of Osgood-Schlatter's, as a teenager/young adult experiences rapid growth, the patella tendon places a high amount of stress on the growth plate of the tibia (via the tibial tubercle). In some cases, the growth plate will try to relieve the tension by rushing newly produced bone cells to the site of heightened stress. This raised structure of new bone cells accumulates around the tibial tubercle and ultimately becomes the "bump" in the shin bone associated with Osgood-Schlatter's.
How is Osgood-Schlatter's treated?
Osgood-Schlatter's can be treated in several ways including: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, icing, and rest. In some cases, therapeutic exercises may be prescribed to strengthen the quad and hamstring muscle groups. If you believe that you, or one of your children, is suffering from Osgood-Schlatter's disease, consult a licensed physician to help decided with method you should use to relieve the symptoms.