Knee Pain in Children – Osgood Schaltter Disease

Knee Pain in Children – Osgood Schaltter Disease

Knee Pain in Children – Osgood Schaltter Disease


Knee Pain in children is often different than adults. There are several common diagnoses of knee pain in children, but the two common causes of knee pain in children or adolescents are Osgood Schaltter Disease and Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.

What Is Osgood Schaltter Disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease is probably the most frequent cause of knee pain seen in children or adolescent. It is inflammation of the area just below the knee where the tendon from the kneecap (patellar tendon) attaches to the shinbone (tibia). Pain is exacerbated by activity, and pain is felt a few inches below the knee joint, on the front part of the knee. Below the knee is often swollen and tender to touch, and often the first signs of Osgood Schlatter disease is when a child or adolescent starts rubbing their ‘shin bones’ or wanting to ice them during and after playing sports or activity.


Who Gets Osgood Schaltter Disease?

The condition commonly occurs in children or adolescents between the ages of nine years to sixteen years but it can occur in younger children or adolescent’s. It equally affects girls and boys, with the signs and symptoms as mentioned above. Sports and activity with lots of running, jumping, kneeling, and squatting are an associated factor to the onset of pain.


What Causes Osgood Schaltter Disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease most commonly occurs during a child or adolescents’ growth spurts, when the bones, muscles, tendons, and other structures are changing at a rapid rate. Strenuous sports and physical activity put additional stress on bones and muscles, therefore children or adolescents who participate in running and jumping sports, are at an increased risk for this condition. Although, less active children and adolescents can also experience this problem.


How Do You Treat Osgood Schaltter Disease?

The treatment for Osgood-Schaltter Disease is dependent on the amount of pain, the activities of the child or adolescent and the biomechanics of the foot, leg and hip. This can all be done by our experienced podiatrists, usually requiring a non-invasive biomechanical assessment. Sometimes x-rays are required if the podiatrist feels there may be other things contributing.


If your child or loved on is experiencing foot, leg or knee pain, don’t delay is getting it seen or treated. Call one of our friendly podiatrists today (03) 9372-7452 or contact us via our online form.


Article By: Kim Thompson
            BHSc Pod NZ MAPodA AAPSM

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