Osgood-Schlatter disease – What is it?

Osgood-Schlatter Disease, sometimes referred to as Osgood’s or OSD, is a condition that causes the bones, cartilage and tendons at the top of the shinbone or tibia (where the patellar tendon is attached) to become inflamed. The syndrome most commonly occurs in active 8 to 15 year olds but has been found to affect some adults too.

Although it is called a disease, Osgood’s is more of an injury that develops through overuse of the quadriceps muscles, the large muscle group that covers the front and back of the thigh and attaches to the patella. In an adolescent, overuse of the quadriceps places strain on the developing tibia and causes the bone to flake. A hard bump on the knee is a sign of Osgood-Schlatter, and gives the disease its nickname ‘knobbly knee’.

Here are some ways to prevent the disease.

  • Stretching to reduce tightness in the leg muscles, especially important during growth spurts.
  • Be sure to warm up and cool down before and after exercise.
  • Limit physical activity to no more than 90 minutes and allow plenty of time for rest afterwards.
  • For additional support, consider regular physio.