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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Osgood-Schlatter Disease Causes, Treatment And Symptoms In Adults

Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD) is a common cause of knee pain in adults. Continue reading to know the causes, symptoms, and treatment of this disease.

What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD)?

OSD is common in children

A boy playing football, Credits: pixabay

  1. OSD is an inflammation of the area just below the knee where the tendon from the kneecap (patellar tendon) attaches to the shinbone (tibia).

  2. This disease is more common during growth spurtswhen bones, muscles, and tendons are changing rapidly.

  3. Children who are active in athletics like running and jumping sports, soccer, basketball, figure skating, and ballet are at risk of developing this disease. OSD is sometimes referred to as “Jumper’s knee”.

  4. OSD is common in boys during the ages of 12 and 14 and girls fromages 10 to 13.

  5. Though this condition is rare in adults, children who have OSD can continue to develop this condition when they turn into adults.

  6. The ICD code for the disease is 51. (

  7. Simple stretching exercises, over-the-counter medicines, and rest can help relieve the disease.

What are the Symptoms of OSD?

OSD Symptoms

OSD causes knee pain, Credits: pixabay

The main symptoms of OSD are knee pain, tenderness,and swelling just below the kneecap.

Pain may worsen during activities like running, kneeling, and jumping. The condition is usually seen in one knee, but can sometimes affect both the knees.

If you feel that the knee pain interferes with your child’s daily activities, and if the knee is swollen and red, seek medical attention.

What Are The Causes of OSD?

During activities like running, jumping, and bending, your child’s thigh muscles (quadriceps) pull on the tendon that connects the kneecap to the growth plate at the top part of the shinbone.

This repeated stress can cause the tendon to pull on the growth plate where the tendon inserts into the shinbone, resulting in the pain and swelling associated with Osgood-Schlatter disease.

Some children’s bodies try to close that gap with new bone growth, which can result in a bony lump at that spot.

How OSD is Diagnosed?

OSD Diagnosis

Knee X-Rays, Credits: pixabay

Your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination and determine the cause of the pain. A child with OSD may have pain and tenderness in the tibial tubercle.

To confirm the diagnosis, and rule out other problems, an X-ray investigation is done.

What are the Treatment Options for OSD?

OSD Treatment

A woman doing stretching exercise, Credits: pixabay

The treatment aims to reduce pain and swelling.

Stretching Exercises

Avoid activities that involve jumping, running, and bending. To help relieve pain and prevent disease, stretches for the front and back of the thigh (quadriceps and hamstring muscles) should be practiced. A physical therapist can help your child teach the stretching exercises.


Drugs like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen can reduce pain and swelling.


The inflamed area can be treated with ice to reduce the pain and swelling.  Use cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. You must not apply ice directly to the skin.


If the pain is very debilitating and does not subside after the growth spurt, surgery might be done to remove the bony overgrowth.

What are the Precautions?

While there are no ways to prevents OSD, the following precautions can be practiced, when your child involves in sports activities.

  1. Make your child wear shock-absorbent insoles in sport’s shoes.

  2. A protective pad to shield the top of your shinbone

  3. Encourage him to perform exercises to strengthen quadriceps muscles.

  4. Until the symptoms subside, you can involve your child in other activities.

What are the Complications of OSD?

This disease does not cause long term complications. Some children may experience chronic pain and swelling. Most of the symptoms of OSD disappear when a child completes the adolescent growth spurt.

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