Osgood-Schlatter Disease

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Osgood-Schlatter Disease

What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is a type of osteochondrosis that causes knee pain in children and adolescents, typically between the ages of 10 and 15. It results from an inflammation of the tibial tuberosity, the bony bump below the kneecap (patella). The condition primarily affects adolescents experiencing a growth spurt and active in running and jumping sports.

Osgood-Schlatter disease causes knee pain in children.

Causes of Osgood-Schlatter Disease

The primary cause of Osgood-Schlatter disease is the repeated traction and stress that the patellar tendon places on the growth plate at the tibial tuberosity during growth spurts. This tension increases significantly when the quadriceps muscles contract during running or jumping. The risk factors for developing OSD include:

  • Growth: Sudden growth spurt in height causes the tension of the patellar tendon to increase.
  • Physical activity: Running and jumping sports such as basketball and football can increase the risk of developing OSD.
  • Gender: Boys suffer OSD more commonly than girls, which may be due to participation in high-impact sports.

Symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter Disease

OSD causes pain and tenderness at the tibial tuberosity below the kneecap. Other typical symptoms also include:

  • Swelling and inflammation around the tibial tuberosity
  • Pain that worsens during and after physical activity
  • A noticeable bony bump at the tibial tuberosity
  • Stiffness of the affected knee joint

Osgood-Schlatter disease causes bony bump at knee.

Diagnosis of Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Like other osteochondrosis conditions, a thorough assessment and a complete patient history are vital in diagnosing OSD. In some cases, your medical professional may refer your child for diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, to visualise the structure of the knee.

Treatment Options in Singapore

The goal of Osgood-Schlatter disease treatment for OSD is to alleviate pain and inflammation and allow the growth plate to heal. Treatment options in Singapore include:

  • Reducing physical activity: This will reduce stress on the tibial tuberosity.
  • Ice: This will help ease the inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Pain relievers: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs may help, but it is best to consult a doctor before taking them.
  • Muscle strengthening and rehabilitation: We highly recommend exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles around the knee.
  • Custom orthotics: Custom insoles may help to reduce the stress on the knee by altering the biomechanics


Osgood-Schlatter disease typically recovers fully once the growth plate fuses at an older age. This can take 6 to 24 months, depending on the age of onset. Often, the noticeable bony bump remains, but this generally does not cause long-term problems. If the bony bump is too prominent, your child may experience discomfort when kneeling.


Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common osteochondrosis condition that causes knee pain in adolescents. It is essential to detect the symptoms early so your child can continue enjoying their physical activities with minimal discomfort. If you suspect your child may have OSD, consult a medical professional today. Our podiatrist, Mr Jackie Tey, has personal experience with OSD and can help your child get through the condition.

Do You Have A Question? Ask Us...


It may not be possible to prevent OSD completely, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk:

  • Post-activity recovery: Always do proper warm-ups before exercises and stretch after.
  • Appropriate footwear: Wear shoes suitable for the sports you are participating in.
  • Form: Ensure that you have the right techniques when performing sports
  • Increase intensity gradually: Avoid a sudden increase in activity such as duration, frequency or level of intensity.
  • Sufficient rest: Having rest days are crucial in preventing injuries.
  • Listen to your body: Stop physical activity if you are experiencing pain.

There is generally no long-term implication for OSD. However, suppose a large bony bump remains after the condition recovers. In that case, pressure on the bony bump may cause discomfort.

Yes, it is safe, provided your child is not in pain. Exercise and physical activity are vital in the body development of a growing child. Hence, we recommend seeking help for OSD early to allow your child to continue exercising with minimal discomfort.

Podiatrists can recommend specific exercises to help strengthen the knee and prescribe medical devices such as custom orthotics to help reduce the stress on the knee joint. The main goal is to allow your child to continue normal activities as part of their normal development.