Osgood-Schlatter disease

Skip Navigation

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a knee problem that causes pain and swelling in the shinbone (tibia) just below the kneecap (patella). This is the spot where the patellar tendon attaches to a bony mound in the knee (tibial tubercle). This condition is a common cause of knee pain in older children and teenagers. It usually flares during periods of rapid growth and goes away at the end of the growth spurt.

Symptoms include pain and tenderness in front of the knee and mild swelling or a bump below the kneecap at the top of the shin. Symptoms may get worse with exercise or activity. This problem usually affects only one knee, but sometimes it affects both knees.

Most children outgrow this problem in 1 to 2 years. Home care, such as ice, over-the-counter pain medicines, and padding the painful area, may reduce pain until the bone and muscles mature. The condition may leave a painless bump on the bone. Surgery is rarely recommended.

This condition is also called Schlatter's disease or osteochondrosis of the tibial tubercle.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.