Osgood-Schlatter Disease (Knee Pain)

Osgood Schlatter disease diagnosis

Sports are a rewarding and fundamental step in many young adult lives; however, they also come with health problems for some. Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) causes a painful bump to protrude on the shinbone and just below the knee. As sports continue to grow across the nation, physicians are seeing an increase in young patients with OSD.

What Is It?

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a form of anterior knee pain resulting from overuse. Medically speaking, repetitive quadricep contractions through the patellar tendon on an immature tibial tubercle causes OSD. In other words, part of the patient’s leg is not yet fully developed and is susceptible to strain.

At first many patients think that it is their knee causing the pain, but it actually localized to the tibial tubercle and the patellar tendon. If you have experienced, or heard of jumper’s knee, OSD is similar to that condition. A painful bump appears on the front of the shin bone (upper tibia) and causes a great deal of pain when placed under pressure. This pressure may be from kneeling, jumping, extending, or even walking.

OSD Symptoms:

  • Knee pain and tenderness at the tibial tubercle (right below the knee cap)
  • Tibial tubercle swelling
  • Muscle tightness in the front or back of thigh

Who Gets It?

OSD typically occurs in children and adolescents experiencing growth spurts during puberty. Often times it correlates with repeated overuse from sports which require a lot of running or jumping (so most major sports). While the condition was once prevalent in males more than females (3:1), this gap is narrowing as more girls are involved with sports.

Osgood-Schlatter disease typically occurs in boys ages 12 to 14 and girls ages 10 to 13. The difference is because girls enter puberty earlier than boys. While the condition may resolve on its own, it can persist into the late teen years and adulthood.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease Treatments:

As we mentioned, the condition usually resolves on its own once the child’s bones stop growing. However, it is still common enough in adulthood that many seek treatment for their pain.

Treatment for OSD concentrates on reducing pain and swelling. The best treatment is rest (sometimes for several months) and limited exercise – however, this can be extremely difficult for athletes. So the main goal should be enjoying activities without discomfort or significant pain afterwards.

Regenerative Medicine for OSD:

Regenerative medicine typically comes in two forms: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells (bone marrow concentrate). Both treatment types are quite unique in that they utilize the patient’s own blood. This means that there are very few side effects and no chance of rejection.

PRP and stem cells are also similar in approach. A specialist removes a sample of blood from the patient. This sample is then centrifuged. Here, the various blood layers are separated. Once the doctor removes the platelet-rich plasma or the stem cells from the remaining sample, they will inject it into the knee area. Regenerative agents flood the injured site and boosts recovery in the area. This not only reduces pain, but also heals the actual injury.

Your doctor may also recommend the following treatment methods:

  • strength conditioning program that focuses on stretching exercises
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen or naproxen) to reduce additional pain and swelling

Watch the video below to find out what Good Morning America had to say on OSD.

Our staff at Metropolitan Pain Consultants looks forward to hearing from you. You can contact us at (201) 729-0001. We offer weekday and weekend appointments. Our conveniently located clinics can be found in West OrangeAberdeenClifton, and Lyndhurst.

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