Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is a common cause of knee pain in children and adolescents. It is an overuse injury that affects children while they are still growing.

OSD is the swelling and irritation of the growth plate at the top of the shinbone. It can affect one or both knees. OSD goes away when a child stops growing and usually does not cause lasting problems.

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What are the signs and symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease?

  • Pain and swelling below the kneecap
  • Worsening pain with activity
  • Possible limping due to pain

What causes Osgood-Schlatter disease?

  • Growth spurts during puberty
  • Exacerbated by sports or activities involving a lot of running or jumping

How is Osgood-Schlatter disease diagnosed?

  • Physical exam
  • X-rays if necessary

How is Osgood-Schlatter disease treated?

Treatment depends on the extent of your child’s injury. Non-surgical options to treat Osgood-Schlatter disease include:

  • I.C.E. – Rest, ice, compression and elevation
  • Activity modification or restriction
  • Anti-inflammatory medication (e.g., ibuprofen)
  • Wrap or sleeve around the knee
  • Physical therapy

Surgery is only necessary in more severe or complicated cases of OSD. Doctors at Connecticut Children’s can determine the right plan to treat your child’s injury.