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Who Is At Risk For Osgood Schlatter Disease & Is There A Blood Test For It?

Teenagers and older children who apply excessive stress on patellar tendon like while playing sports are the usual victims.(6)

In this disease, the tibia tubercle (bone under the plate) gradually protrudes and starts to hurt. Sometimes it swells red and you may have a fever. Pain goes away when you’re resting, but when you restart sporting activities, the pain recurs.(1)

Who Is At Risk For Osgood Schlatter Disease?

Who Is At Risk For Osgood Schlatter Disease?

Osgood Schlatter Disease is most common in teenagers and children aged 10 to 18 years. Factors that may increase your risk of getting this condition include rapid growth, activities focusing on the patellar tendon. This may include sudden turnings, jumping, and running.(2)

This disease always requires proper treatment and reduced exercise. Adults, such as parents and athletic coaches, should have a thorough knowledge of this symptom because of the injuries that may result due to this condition. It is important to take care of your child while minimizing damage in the event of an accident. Specialist advice is the best-suited treatment of this condition.2

This disorder occurs in children playing teenage sports, most commonly in children between the ages of 10 and 15; in particular, girls – 10 to 11 years old and boys – 14 to 15 years old.

As the disease is closely related to the growth process of the body, early-growing girls are more likely to develop the disease at an earlier age, and Osgood Schlatter Disease will almost certainly not develop in the 20s when the body has grown fully.

About one in four seems to have symptoms on both legs (both knees).1

Cause Of Osgood Schlatter Disease

It occurs when a growing child, between the ages of 10 and 15, plays too much sport involving jumping and ball-sporting activities.

The cause of Osgood Schlatter Disease onset is largely related to the large muscles on the front of the thighs called the quadriceps. The power of the quadriceps muscle (the muscle in front of the thigh) acts as a force to extend the knee through the patella. Due to the repeated stretching of the knee, the quadriceps muscle pulls the tibial tuberosity through the patella tendon attachment, causing excessive load on the growth line of the tibial tuberosity and detachment of the growing cartilage.

This is the period when bone grows rapidly from cartilage. The quadriceps muscle extends from the outside of the pelvis (lower anterior iliac spine) to the top of the shin (rough surface of the tibia).

In Osgood Schlatter Disease, this rough surface of the tibia causes pain. It is said that bone grows faster than muscle during human growth. In other words, the shin and thigh bones (the tibia and the femur) grow first, the quadriceps between them grows stronger, and the rough surface of the tibia, which is the attachment, is pulled, and the bone itself becomes anterior and protrudes inside the muscle.

Muscles are elastic tissues, like rubber and as muscles grow slower than bones, so if only bones grow first, the muscles in between will simply stretch. Osgood Schlatter Disease mechanism is that this stretched stress is applied to the rough surface of the tibia and the bone itself is pulled by the muscles and protrudes.2

Is There A Blood Test For Osgood Schlatter Disease?

Diagnosis is possible to some extent with the above symptoms and tenderness or bulges in the same area, but it can be confirmed by an X-ray examination. There is no specific blood test to diagnose the condition.4

Symptoms Of Osgood Schlatter Disease

Common symptoms are:

  • Protrusion and pain in the upper part of the shin (rough surface of the tibia)
  • Pain from quadriceps contraction
  • Pain caused by quadriceps stretching (bending the knee)
  • Pain during kicking and jumping
  • Pain while going up and down the stairs
  • Pain on knee
  • Pain in one leg flexion

The only place where the pain comes out is the rough surface of the tibia.3

Prevention And Treatment Of Osgood Schlatter Disease

It is a transient disease of the growing stage that often heals when the child’s growth ends. It is important to refrain from sports during this time. To avoid the above symptoms, do quadriceps stretching or ice massage, etc., and use internal medicine or compresses only when the pain is severe. Sports activities are possible if the pain goes away.

Symptoms become stronger when you play sports for 3 to 6 months after the onset, so it is recommended that you do sports before and after the above-mentioned stretching, ice massage, wearing a belt, etc.5


  1. 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.
  2. Itoh G, Ishii H, Kato H, Nagano Y, Hayashi H, Funasaki H. Risk assessment of the onset of Osgood–Schlatter disease using kinetic analysis of various motions in sports. PloS one. 2018;13(1).
  3. Smith JM, Bhimji S. Osgood Schlatter Disease. 2018.
  4. Siddiq MAB. Osgood-Schlatter disease unveiled under high-frequency ultrasonogram. Cureus. 2018;10(10).
  5. Circi E, Atalay Y, Beyzadeoglu T. Treatment of Osgood–Schlatter disease: review of the literature. Musculoskeletal surgery. 2017;101(3):195-200.
  6. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/osgood-schlatter-disease-a-to-z

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 13, 2021

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