Recovery Leg injuries

Osgood Schlotter Disease – The Injured Runner

Osgood schlotter disease summary

Osgood Schlotter Disease (OSD) is a condition where pain is felt on the bump at the top of the shinbone. It was named after the doctors who first wrote about it, Drs. Osgood and Schlotter.

Pain caused by OSD

OSD is the most common cause of knee pain in athletes between the ages of ten to fifteen. At this age the bones grow rapidly and the tendon may not be lengthening at the same rate, this results in extra tension where the patellar tendon attaches to the bone. When you combine this tightness with increased activity you get knee pain.

Sometimes a distinct bump forms on the upper front portion of the shin where the patellar tendon attaches to the shinbone. If your teenager is limping, we advise not to run until the limp is gone.

Treatments for osgood schlotter

Pain after activity is acceptable as long as you are working on the following treatments.

  • Stretching of the quadriceps muscle is essential to decrease the tension on the shinbone. Hold the stretch for thirty seconds (if not too painful) and repeat three times, perform this routine three times per day.
  • Hamstring and calf stretches may also help reduce strain on the area. See hamstring stretch and bent knee calf stretches .
  • Ice is particularly effective for this condition.
  • Physical therapists can apply a treatment called iontophoresis, which is the use of an electrical current to apply a steroid medication over the sore spot. Usually, two to three treatments will improve symptoms substantially.
  • An anti-inflammatory cream could be used to reduce the pain and inflammation.

You may also like to read our summary of meniscuss injuries and recovery.