This condition is developed where there is an inflammation of the area below the knee; it usually occurs during growth spurts as it is precisely at that time when bones, muscles, tendon, and other bone structures are rapidly changing.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a condition that occurs when a painful lump develops below the kneecap. The condition is also called apophysitis. It usually occurs to young people between the age of 10 and 16 years who are engaged in sports. Osgood-Schlatter usually occurs at this age due to the rapid growth of cells and engaging the body in vigorous activity, especially those involving jumping, running, and kicking. The sports lead to a vigorous and repeated use of the quadriceps muscles.

The disease causes pain and swelling on the area just below the knee. It is most prevalent among boys in their early teenage stage and is rare among people above the age of 16 years.

The primary symptom of this condition is pain below the patella. The patient mostly experiences pain during and shortly after physical activity and reduces after resting.

The pain typically ends after a few months. However, in some cases, it may last until the patient finishes growing, which means it may persist for up to two years.

A tender, small, and bony lump may develop just below the patella. This takes place when the kneecap tendon attaches to the shin bone (tibia). The bump is usually a permanent feature which becomes painless with time. Knee movements remain normal even when one is affected by this problem because it does not affect the joints.

The symptoms normally occur on one foot but about a third of the cases suffer in both knees.

Causes of Osgood-Schlatter Disease

This condition is primarily caused by an overuse of the knee although other factors can also cause the problem. These include:

Age – this condition usually affects boys between the age of 13 and 15 years. Though rare, it also affects ladies but at a younger age of between ten and twelve years. It is often referred to as growing pains in the knee. Since the ages mentioned are only a guide and growth rates differ among people at different ages, it is best to say that, this condition occurs when the body is undergoing fast growth and a lot of physical activity, especially those involving the legs. The condition can also affect people who were not looked after well in their teenage but it is less prevalent.

Activity – as the bones of a young athlete grow quickly, it may be difficult for the tendons and muscles to grow at the same rate. This creates a pulling effect from the patella tendon to the tibial tuberosity on top of the shin. This leads to inflammation, swelling, and pain on the affected area. This condition is common among young people since their bones are still soft and under development. Children engages in activities like running and jumping are more prone to this condition because they put much more pressure on the patella tendon. Contact us on 03 9077 5915 for further assessment and treatment.