Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a painful enlargement of a bump on the shin bone just below the knee. This bump is called the tibial tuberosity, which is where the tendon from the knee cap inserts. Osgood-Schlatter disease is most often seen in children between the ages of 10 and 15, is more common in males, and appears during a period of rapid growth.


Osgood-Schlatter disease is caused by repetitive injury to and small tearings of the bone-tendon junction where the tendon from the knee cap inserts into the tibial tuberosity. It can be caused by overuse of the knee in normal childhood and sporting activities, usually when muscles are too tight in the front of the thigh, the back of the thigh, or in the calf.


Typical symptoms include:

  • A painful bump or bony enlargement at the top of the shin bone.
  • A frequent and recurring feeling of pain.
  • A pain that is usually worse with activity.


Osgood-Schlatter disease is diagnosed by a history and physical examination of the knee. X-rays usually show an enlarged tibial tuberosity and may also show irregular or loose bony fragments from the tibial tuberosity.

The treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease begins with resting or doing activities that do not cause knee pain. Icing may be recommended. Occasionally, bracing or even casting may be advised. Stretching is a very important part of the treatment.

The goal of rehabilitation is to return you to your sport or activity as soon as safely possible. Return to sports or activity will be determined by how your knee recovers, and how you feel.