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Practice 10-Minute Consultation

Osgood-Schlatter disease

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 01 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4534
  1. Richard Weiler, specialist registrar in sport and exercise medicine; locum general practitioner 1,
  2. Michael Ingram, general practitioner2,
  3. Roger Wolman, consultant in rheumatology and sport and exercise medicine3
  1. 1Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Homerton Row, London E9 6SR, UK
  2. 2The Red House Group, Radlett, Hertfordshire
  3. 3The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Middlesex, UK
  1. Correspondence to: R Weiler rweiler{at}
  • Accepted 25 June 2011

An active 14 year old boy, accompanied by his father, presents because of persisting knee pain, which is worse during and after sports.

What you should cover

In 1903, Osgood and Schlatter separately described a painful overuse condition affecting the tibial tuberosity. Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common cause of knee pain in children, associated with growth spurts, peaking in boys at about 12 to 15 years and girls at about 10 to 12 years. It is more common in boys than girls and up to 30% of children present with bilateral symptoms.1 Cadaveric and radiological studies have led to the theory that Osgood-Schlatter disease may be caused by forceful contractions of the quadriceps muscles at the proximal tibial apophysis insertion leading to multiple small avulsion fractures.2 This may lead to a firm enlargement of the tibial tubercle over time. The age of onset may be caused by the relative imbalance of strengthening quadriceps muscles compared with the growing bone. It is also …

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