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

By Andrew Alpin, 6 November 2022


3Other causes of knee pain


Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome is another cause of knee pain in athletic children. While both disorders are caused by growth plate damage, Osgood-Schlatter occurs below the kneecap in the tibial tubercle. In contrast, Sinding-Larsen-Johansson occurs higher in the inferior pole of the patella.

Other causes of knee pain

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2Best treatments for Osgood-Schlatter disease


Osgood-Schlatter disease treatment methods focus on minimizing pain, discomfort, and swelling. Doctors recommend rest, minimizing physical activity, and a strength conditioning program. Osgood-Schlatter disease pain almost generally ends when a teenager’s body fully develops. Even with treatment, some people may have symptoms for 12-24 months.

Most symptoms disappear around the ages of 14 years for girls and 16 years for males. In the meantime, the following measures may be helpful:

  • Thermotherapy and Cryotherapy
  • Relative rest, which may involve limiting or changing activities for up to 6 weeks
  • If the pain is too severe, a short course of knee immobilization is recommended.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

A doctor may also recommend stretching and strengthening activities to relieve knee pain. Some people may benefit from a knee support wrap or knee straps as well. Possible knee exercises include:

  • Hamstring stretches
  • Quadricep stretches
  • Gastrocnemius muscle stretches
  • Leg lifts with straight legs
  • Bridges

Best treatments for Osgood-Schlatter disease

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1Surgery is usually not required


Surgery is often not required because the bone is tougher than cartilage and less prone to irritation. The growth plate will eventually stop developing and fill with bone. If a person has bone fragments that have not healed or if there is an actual fracture, a doctor may recommend surgery in very rare circumstances. A surgeon, on the other hand, will not conduct surgery until the patient has stopped developing.

Surgery is usually not required

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