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Osgood-Schlatter Disease Clinical Presentation

  • Author: James R Gregory, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
 
Updated: Aug 16, 2015
 

History

Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is a clinical diagnosis. The individual's history and a physical examination are usually sufficient to make the diagnosis of OSD.

Anterior knee pain usually is the presenting symptom. Patients usually report that the knee pain occurs during activities such as running, jumping, squatting, and ascending or descending stairs. Pain often subsides with rest and activity modification.

Athletes involved in football, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, and ballet are most commonly affected.

Symptoms often are vague, gradual, and intermittent in onset. Symptoms may develop without trauma or other apparent cause, although approximately 50% of patients give a history of precipitating trauma. The disease is bilateral in 20-50% of patients.

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Physical Examination

The physical examination is very specific, with point tenderness over the tibial tubercle. A firm mass may be palpable.

Other physical examination findings may include the following:

  • Proximal tibial swelling and tenderness
  • Enlargement or prominence of the tibial tubercle
  • Reproducible and aggravated pain by direct pressure and jumping (quadriceps contraction)
  • Pain with resisted knee extension (quadriceps contraction)
  • Hamstring tightness
  • Quadriceps atrophy
  • Erythema of the tibial tuberosity

 

The following exam findings must be tested and confirmed to verify no concomitant or more severe injury:

  • Full range of motion of the knee
  • No effusion or meniscal signs
  • Negative Lachman test (no knee instability)
  • Normal neurovascular examination
  • No abnormal findings in the hip and ankle joints
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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

James R Gregory, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Craig C Young, MD Professor, Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Community and Family Medicine, Medical Director of Sports Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin

Craig C Young, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Sports Medicine, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

J Andy Sullivan, MD Clinical Professor of Pediatric Orthopedics, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

J Andy Sullivan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Medical Association, Oklahoma State Medical Association, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

Andrew K Chang, MD Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center

Andrew K Chang, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American Academy of Neurology, American College of Emergency Physicians, and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Thomas M DeBerardino, MD Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Consulting Surgeon, Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy and Reconstruction of the Knee, Hip and Shoulder, Team Physician, Orthopedic Consultant to UConn Department of Athletics, University of Connecticut Health Center

Thomas M DeBerardino, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, and American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Disclosure: Arthrex, Inc. Grant/research funds Other; Arthrex, Inc. Consulting fee Speaking and teaching; Genzyme Biosurgery. Inc. Grant/research funds Other; Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation Grant/research funds Other; Histogenics Grant/research funds None

Janos P Ertl, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine; Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, Wishard Hospital

Janos P Ertl, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, Hungarian Medical Association of America, and Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Gyorgy Kovacs, MD Consulting Surgeon, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, GOC Clinic

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

David B Levy, DO, FACEP, FAAEM Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine, St Elizabeth Health Center; Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine

David B Levy, DO, FACEP, FAAEM is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American Medical Informatics Association, and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Munisha Mehra Bhatia, MD General Academic Pediatrics, Faculty Development Fellow, Children's Memorial Hospital of Northwestern University

Munisha Mehra Bhatia, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Academic Pediatric Association and American Academy of Pediatrics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Albert W Pearsall IV, MD Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of South Alabama College of Medicine; Director, Section of Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of South Alabama Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Andrew L Sherman, MD, MS Associate Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine, Vice Chairman, Chief of Spine and Musculoskeletal Services, Program Director, SCI Fellowship and PMR Residency Programs, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Miami, Leonard A Miller School of Medicine

Andrew L Sherman, MD, MS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American Medical Association, and Association of Academic Physiatrists

Disclosure: Pfizer Honoraria Speaking and teaching

Mark S Slabinski, MD, FACEP, FAAEM Vice President, EMP Medical Group

Mark S Slabinski, MD, FACEP, FAAEM is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Medical Association, and Ohio State Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Medscape Salary Employment

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Radiograph of a patient who is skeletally mature. Note that the tibial tubercle is enlarged and there is an ossicle. A bursa was overlying this.
Radiograph of a patient who is skeletally immature. The tubercle is elongated and fragmented
Image courtesy of John T. Killion, MD; OSA Pediatric Orthopaedics
Image courtesy of John T. Killion, MD; OSA Pediatric Orthopaedics
 
 
 
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