Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common cause of knee pain in adolescents, affecting boys three times more than girls.
With this condition, patients localize their pain to the front of the knee, where the tendon that runs from the base of the kneecap, known as the patellar tendon, attaches to the upper part of the lower leg. Excessive stress over this attachment produced by repeated activation of the large quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh results in pain, swelling, and tenderness, and can be accompanied by the development of a prominent bump on the upper part of the shin bone just below the kneecap, one of the hallmarks of this disease.
Children who are active in sports, particularly those involving forceful, repetitive quadriceps activation, such as with jumping and sprinting, may be at increased risk for developing Osgood-Schlatter disease. With sports season in full force now this fall season, it's important to look for signs of Osgood-Schlatter.