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Does Osgood Schlatter Spread & Can You Die From It?

Osgood schlatter disease is the status seen in kids between 9-14 years of age. It classically happens following a new growth spurt when the patela at the side of the knee joint grows more than the associated muscles, triggering pain and sometimes swelling below the kneecap.(1)

Does Osgood Schlatter Disease Spread?

Osgood Schlatter disease is a rare condition affecting approximately 1 in 100 people. The condition leads to the knee joint cartilage to develop abnormally. It is a localized condition and cannot spread to other areas of the body.(3)

Can You Die From Osgood Schlatter’s Disease?

Osgood Schlatter disease usually does not cause any long-term complicated health situations. This is not a life-threatening disease. Kids with this condition may sometimes suffer from persistent discomfort or constant swelling of the knee joint.

Osgood Schlatter disease is diagnosed by listening to the full history of the patient, as well as by examining the foot joint, often affecting only one leg. So, to compile a complete picture, the doctor will need:

  • The most detailed description of the symptoms that the child experiences; 
  • Finding their connection with existing loads; information about the presence of similar problems in the past (previous injuries are of particular interest); 
  • Possible health problems in the family:
  • Without exception, all food preparations, as well as supplements taken by the child.

The doctor conducts a detailed examination of the knee joint to determine the presence of edema, redness, pain. The motor volume of the knee and thigh are also evaluated. Radiography of the lower leg and knee joint is mandatory, which will allow you to visualize the area of attachment to the tibia of the patella tendon.(4)

Osgood Schlatter Disease – Treatment

Today, the treatment of such a disease has a positive prognosis. In the overwhelming majority of cases, patients have one hundred percent recovery. In rare cases, there is a residual deformation resembling pronounced rheumatic reactions observed in the case of sudden changes in weather conditions. The treatment of such a disease must be taken seriously to avoid complications like complete immobilization of the knee joint.

To date, three methods are used to treat the disease including conservative, physiotherapeutic, and surgical methods of treatment.(4)

The disorder has the symptoms swelling of cartilage, and/or tendon in the side of the shinbone, where the tendon from the kneecap attaches. It normally affects active teenagers at the onset of their growing age, roughly the 2-year period within which they grow most quickly. This discomfort improves with adequate rest and worsens with knee movement. It is mostly observed in children aged 10 to 18 years who are actively involved in sports activities. At the risk are people who are fond of:

  • Ballet
  • Football
  • Gymnastics;
  • Basketball;
  • Volleyball;
  • Skating;
  • Hockey
  • Weightlifting;

As a rule, boys mostly get affected. However, the gender gap is narrowing as girls begin to play sports. 

Osgood Schlatter’s disease begins from painful sensations that are provoked by premature wear of the tissue of the tibia tuber. This is due to the departure of the hamstring tendons from the powerful muscles of the anterior femoral part, which creates constant pulling pressure on the knee joint. 

Symptoms Of Osgood Schlatter Disease

To start treatment of any disease in time, it is necessary to know its symptoms, which will indicate the need for seeking medical help. Symptoms include: 

    Discomfort in the knee (stiffness and weakness)

  • During physical exertion pain in the knee;
  • Local pain in the lower part of the knee;
  • Mild to moderate pain that lasts for about 2 weeks or longer (up to 3 months or more).
  • Mild to severe swelling of the knee joint.
  • Swelling in the knee;
  • While walking or squatting pain in the knee joint; 

It’s worth a visit to the doctor for a consultation. It should be noted that over a long period, only pain in the knee joint with a wide variety of loads can bother, and other symptoms will be completely absent. 

However, in the process of large physical exertion, pain and swelling may appear in the lower part of the knee. Nevertheless, when the knee is at rest, then the pain will naturally decrease and pass completely, but when the knee is bent, sharp pain will again be felt. To establish the correct diagnosis, it is necessary to be examined by a specialist.(2)


  1. Smith JM, Bhimji S. Osgood Schlatter Disease. 2018.
  2. Guldhammer C, Rathleff MS, Jensen HP, Holden S. Long-Term prognosis and impact of Osgood-Schlatter disease 4 years after diagnosis: a retrospective study. Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine. 2019;7(10):2325967119878136.
  3. Ladenhauf HN, Seitlinger G, Green DW. Osgood–Schlatter disease: a 2020 update of a common knee condition in children. Current opinion in pediatrics. 2020;32(1):107-112.
  4. Circi E, Atalay Y, Beyzadeoglu T. Treatment of Osgood–Schlatter disease: review of the literature. Musculoskeletal surgery. 2017;101(3):195-200.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 1, 2020

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