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By Brian M. Torpey, MD, FACS


Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome is an orthopedic knee condition that occurs most often in young athletes who participate in sports that involve running and jumping, such as soccer, basketball, volleyball and ballet.  It is inflammation of the area in front of the knee, just below the knee cap where the quadriceps muscle attaches on to the shinbone (tibia). It usually occurs in pre-adolescent and teenage athletes because their bones, muscles and tendons are growing and rapidly changing.  A classic symptom is knee pain that increases with activity.

Growth plates are areas of cartilage near the ends of bones, and eventually these areas mature into solid bone. In adolescence, these growth plates are not yet fused.   Repeated running and jumping activities can cause the quadriceps muscles to pull on the front of the knee (the tibial tuberosity).  These repeated micro-traumas may cause pain and swelling. 

Treatment for Osgood Schlatter’s Disease includes rest, active rest/cross-training, ice, quadriceps and hamstring stretching, quadriceps strengthening and, in some cases, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend an anti-inflammatory medicine and a compression strap.