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Osgood Schlatters Disease Description

Osgood Schlatters Disease (Tibial Tuberosity Apophysitis)


Osgood Schlatters disease is an inflammatory condition which affects the insertion of the patella tendon into the tibia (shin bone).

It is a common condition in the athletic paediatric population (up to 20% of athletic children).  It affects boys more commonly than girls, and typically those involved with jumping sports (such as AFL and basketball). It can occur in both knees in approximately 25% of cases, but typically only one side is symptomatic at a time.

Symptoms are commonly worse during periods of rapid growth, and are activity related. The pain is rarely intense enough to limit day to day activities. Occasionally there may be limping after sports and exercise.  Typically the pain is better with anti-inflammatory medications (eg Neurofen/Ibuprofen) and rest.

On examination there may be a tender lump at the front of the knee, and the knee may have reduced flexibility.

Normally it is diagnosed on clinical examination and X Rays.  MRI scans can be useful for evaluating other causes of knee pain which may mimic Osgood Schlatters.

X Ray
Black arrows indicate the inflammation of the growth plate
Osgood Diagram
Osgood Schlatters disease affects the insertion of the patella tendon into the tibial tuberosity and commonly causes a firm lump at the front of the knee (circled).
An MRI scan demonstrating bone beneath the patella tendon, consistent with chronic Osgood Schlatters disease.
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