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Sports Medicine

Osgood-Schlatter Disease in Adults

09/29/2003

Question:

My husband is 31 years old and still suffers from Osgood-Schlatter Disease in both knees. He had bone protrusions below the kneecaps and when bumped causes severe pain. He has always been very active - runs, mountain bikes and snowboards. Recently he has been experiencing more pain in the areas of these bone protrusions which he thinks is due to the Osgood-Schlatter disease. I have been researching and it sounds like this is a childhood disease. Could he still be experincing the after effects? What can we do for treatment? Or could this be something else?

Answer:

This area that your husband is experiencing pain is called the tibial tuberosity. It is the location where the patellar tendon inserts. In adulthood, Osgood Schlatter disease no longer exists because it requires an open growth plate. However, he may have had enough chronic changes from the condition in childhood that he has problems with patellar tendonitis (from the patellar tendon rubbing on the area of old scarring). Treatment for this includes ice, anti-inflammatory medications and possibly compression with a knee-sleeve. If the pain persists or worsens, you should see a doctor for further evaluation.

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Response by:

Charles Webster, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati