What Is Osgood Schlatter Disease?

By boone
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Osgood-Schlatter disease is an overuse injury that causes knee pain in adolescents. In 1903, two physicians independently described the condition: Swiss surgeon Carl B. Schlatter and American orthopedist Robert Bayley Osgood. Today, the disease bears the names of both its discoverers.

OSD affects the growth plates, which are cartilaginous structures at the end of immature bones where new growth takes place. During adolescence, the growth plates “close,” meaning that they fill in with bone. When this happens, the bones do not grow any longer, and the person stops growing taller. Before the growth plates close, they are more vulnerable.

1. Onset

Osgood-Schlatter disease affects adolescents as they experience growth spurts prior to the closing of the growth plates in the knee. Because girls tend to begin puberty earlier than boys, they are more likely to experience onset of Osgood-Schlatter symptoms sooner, often between the ages of 9 to 14. Boys may be affected from ages 12 to 16.

An adolescent with Osgood-Schlatter disease may experience symptoms as long as his or her growth plates remain open. Once full height is attained, which occurs around age 16 for boys and 14 for girls, OSD symptoms typically resolve.

Osgood Schlatter Disease

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