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Osgood-Schlatter Disease

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Updated January 15, 2004

Definition: Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common condition in children often referred to as growing pains of the knees. Osgood-Schlatter disease is the result of rapid growth and pulling of the tendons around the growth plate of the knee in adolescents.

The large quadriceps muscle of the front of the thigh attaches to a bump over the front of the shin bone. When this large muscle contracts, it pulls on this tendon. Over time, repetitive pulling, combined with the growth taking place in the bone, causes irritation of the growth plate. Osgood-Schlatter is most common in active adolescents.

Treatment of Osgood-Schlatter is best accomplished with rest. By avoiding irritating activities, the inflammation usually subsides without other treatment. Occasionally, a knee brace or even a cast is used, but this is usually not necessary.

Pronunciation: 'Oz-good Sh-lot-er'
Also Known As: growing pains
Common Misspellings: Oshgood-Schlatter Disease
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