Children's Hospital Colorado

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

What is Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Osgood-Schlatter refers to a condition occurring during adolescence that causes pain, swelling and soreness on an area of the upper shin bone (tibia) below the knee cap, called the tibial tuberosity. The medical term for this condition is "tibial tubercle apophysitis."

During a certain period of the adolescent growth spurt, the tibial tuberosity can be overused when a child is involved in a lot of running and jumping activities. The kneecap tendon places traction on the growing bone, which can lead to inflammation and swelling in the area of the upper shin/knee. Osgood-Schlatter disease is a particularly common basketball injury.

Who gets Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Osgood-Schlatter only occurs during a certain period of adolescence, when the tibial tuberosity is going through a rapid growth spurt. In girls, this typically happens around the ages of 10 to 12 and in boys between ages 12 and 14.

Osgood-Schlatter is more common in active, athletic children. This condition is difficult to prevent completely, but modifying the amount of activity when a child is experiencing pain will help.

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Mike Dichiaro, MD

Mike Dichiaro, MD

Pediatric Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Debbie Burke, PA-C, MS

Debbie Burke, PA-C, MS

Physician Assisting

Rachael Mahan, PA-C

Rachael Mahan, PA-C

Physician Assisting

Cailin Brazeau, PA-C

Cailin Brazeau, PA-C

Physician Assisting