Pediatric Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Pediatric Osgood-Schlatter Disease

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Summary

Osgood-Schlatter disease is inflammation (pain) in the growth plate of a child’s knee.

Expanded overview

Osgood-Schlatter disease is inflammation in the growth plate of a child’s knee. The growth plate is located where the tendon from the kneecap attaches to the tibia (shin bone). Growth plates allow for continued growth of the bones until a child reaches adulthood.

Osgood-Schlatter disease most often affects boys during the years of extreme growth in height, from about 10 to 15 years of age. It is more common in children who play sports that require running or jumping, such as soccer or basketball.

Causes

Children may experience inflammation of the growth plate under the knee during growth spurts. This is because the bones are growing faster than the muscles and tendons, causing them to become tight and inflamed.

Repetitive motion may also cause Osgood-Schlatter disease during certain sports activities. This is because repeated use of the thigh muscles, which are attached to the tibial tubercle (bony area located at the top of the shin bone), can irritate the growth plate.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease include:

  • Limping after physical activity
  • Pain under the kneecap
  • Swelling around the knee
  • Tight quadriceps or hamstrings (thigh muscles)

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