Osgood-Schlatter disease is seen most often in young people who are active in sports. It is characterized by pain below the knee, especially during running and jumping and may be accompanied by a sizeable, hard “bump” below the knee cap. It is caused by repetitive impact or trauma to the growth plate of the upper tibia, called the apophysis, and indicates an inflammatory process involving the tendons and ligaments supporting the knee-tibia connection. The problem may also occur as a result of an acute injury to the tendon and may include a splintering of bone fragments at the site of injury.
The symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease include knee pain that worsens during activity and then may lessen during rest. The bump below the knee may be especially painful when pressure is applied. Knee function is not usually affected by the problem, but the condition may persist until the individual is fully grown. First aid measures may be helpful when there is a “flare up” of symptoms, and it may be recommended to “sit out” a season to rest the joint and growth plate of the tibia. A knee brace and rigorous attention to the RICE formula may be helpful if quitting sports is not an acceptable alternative.
For more information about Osgood-Schlatter disease, please call (918) 494-AOOK (2665).