What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease?

The knee is the largest and one of the most complex joints in the human body. Boney structures of the knee consist of the patella (knee cap), Femur (thigh bone), Tibia and Fibula (lower leg bones). Muscles and tendons provide the motion of the joint. The patellar tendon inserts onto the tibial tubercle (upper portion of your shin). This tendon promotes knee extension – straightening of the knee.

Osgood-Schlatter disease is an overuse injury that occurs in the knee area of growing adolescents. It is due to growth plate apoptosis. Apophysitis is an overuse injury unique to the skeletally immature athlete and comprises a significant proportion of musculoskeletal complaints in this population. The apophysis is a secondary ossification center that serves as the attachment site for a muscle-tendon unit. Young adolescents who participate in certain sports, including soccer, gymnastics, basketball, and distance running, are most at risk for this disease.