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Osgood-Schlatter Disease, The Common Cause of Knee Pain in Adolescents but Overlooked Often

By Andrew Alpin, 6 November 2022


7Osgood-Schlatter disease is also called tibial tubercle apophysitis


An apophysis is a term used by a doctor to describe the location where a tendon connects. It is called Osgood-Schlatter disease when the tendons at these connecting points right below the kneecap get damaged and inflamed. This is why the condition is sometimes known as tibial tubercle apophysitis.

Osgood-Schlatter disease is also called tibial tubercle apophysitis

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6Causes of the disease


The quadriceps are a collection of muscles in the front of the leg that joins the patella. When a person runs or jumps, the quadriceps strain the patella, causing the patellar tendon to swell. As a result, the tibial tubercle and growth plate get strained. Repetitive strain can cause irritation and soreness in this area in some children. The lump may become more noticeable as it swells. Furthermore, stress and strain on the growth plate might result in microfractures or growth plate re-orientation.

Causes of the disease

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5Sports that are responsible for causing the disease


While adolescents who participate in athletics are more likely to develop Osgood-Schlatter disease, less active individuals can also suffer from this condition. However, the sports that are associated with an increased risk of Osgood-Schlatter disease include:

  • Sprinting
  • Basketball
  • Football or soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Gymnastics

Sports that are responsible for causing the disease

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4Diagnosis of the disease


A doctor can usually diagnose Osgood-Schlatter’s disease based on a medical history and a physical examination. A healthcare expert may apply pressure to the tibial tubercle during the evaluation, which will be uncomfortable or painful for a child with the issue.

They may also ask the child to walk, run, jump, or kneel to see whether these actions aggravate the symptoms. They may also order X-rays to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possibilities. The location of the pain in the tibial tuberosity also aids in differentiating Osgood-Schlatter disease from other illnesses.

Diagnosis of the disease

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Osgood-Schlatter disease is a prevalent cause of teenage knee pain. It refers to inflammation right below the knee, where the kneecap tendon connects to the shinbone. The disease is also known as osteochondrosis, tibial tubercle apophysitis, or traction apophysitis of the tibial tubercle by some doctors. This condition highlights a common cause of front knee pain in young athletes, especially those who participate in sprinting and jumping sports.


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