Plainfield (815) 439-1188 15724 S. Rt 59 Unit 100
Bolingbrook (630) 226-9860 215 Remington Blvd., Suite A2

an appointmentclick here

Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease

Schedule Your Appointment with Foot Doctor

an appointmentclick here

Osgood-Schlatter’s Explained by Our Podiatrist in Plainfield

Osgood-Schlatter’s disease is a condition causing pain and swelling below the knee joint, where the patellar tendon attaches to the top of the shinbone (the tibia). There may also be some swelling of the patellar tendon stretching over the kneecap.

This condition is often a source of knee pain in children and adolescents who are still growing and possibly suffering from sports injuries. Osgood-Schlatter’s disease is often found in young athletes who play sports requiring a lot of jumping and/or running.

Causes of Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease

This condition is caused by injury to the bone growth plate. It’s essential to understand that our bones don’t grow in the middle, but instead they grow at the ends near the joint – the area called the growth plate. During childhood, these plates are made of cartilage instead of bone, and the cartilage is never as strong as bone. Consequently, high levels of stress can lead to swelling and pain in the growth plate.

To be more specific, Osgood-Schlatter’s disease is the product of a chain reaction involving the muscles, tendons, and bones in the leg. The quadriceps (thigh muscles) attach to the patella (kneecap), and movement of these muscles places tension on the patella tendon. That tension, in turn, pulls the tibia in the area of the growth plate. Consequently, any movement involving repeated extension of the leg can lead to tenderness at the point where the patellar tendon attaches to the tibia.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis and Treatment

In terms of treatment options, with time and rest, Osgood-Schlatter’s disease usually goes away. Any activities involving running, jumping, and deep knee-bending should be restricted until the swelling and tenderness subside.

Ice packs applied to the painful area after activity can be helpful. These can be applied two to three times a day for 20–30 minutes each time.

Returning to sport’s activities depends on one’s pain tolerance. A young athlete will not damage their knee by playing with a certain level of pain. If the pain becomes persistent, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor of podiatric medicine in Bolingbrook, IL.

Surgery Rarely Needed

Except in rare cases, surgical treatment is not required to treat Osgood-Schlatter’s disease. Growth eventually stops in the cartilage growth plate, and the area fills with bone when the child stops growing. Bone is much stronger than cartilage and less prone to irritation, and the pain and irritation normally go away because there is no new growth plate to be injured.

It should be noted, however, that Osgood-Schlatter’s disease sometimes leads to excess bone growth that produces a visible bump where the tendon attaches to the bone. If pain persists after growth has ended, surgical excision of the bump may be required.

Foot Doctor in Bolingbrook and Plainfield, IL

If your child is suspected of having Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, contact the podiatric surgeons at Suburban Foot and Ankle medical center to book an appointment. We treat everything from chronic knee or foot pain to ankle injuries in young athletes.

Questions? Contact Us Today

Two Convenient Locations


15724 S. Rt 59 Unit 100

Plainfield, IL 60544

815-439-1188 phone

815-439-2453 fax

Illinois Podiatric Medical Association


215 Remington Blvd., Suite A2

Bolingbrook, IL 60440

630-226-9860 phone

815-439-2453 fax

American Podiatric Medical Association