Osgood Schlatters Disease
What is Osgood Schlatters Disease?
Osgood Schlatters, pronounced as “oz-good shlat-ters”, it is not actually a disease but an injury of the bone resulting from excessive stretching of the patellar ligament.
Also known as Osgood Schlatters Syndrome, it is a painful inflammation of tibial tuberosity, a bony prominence present on the upper front part of tibia (shinbone) about 2 cm below the kneecap, where patellar ligament is attached.
In simple terms, it relates to pain and swelling in the area just below the knee joint on the front side of the leg.
What happens with Osgood Schlatters Syndrome?
To understand osgood schlatters disease, it helps to know the normal anatomy of the knee joint. The knee joint comprises of four different bones;
Femur (thighbone) forms the top of the knee joint,
Tibia (inner and major shin bone) and
Fibula (outer shin bone) from below and
Patella (kneecap) at the front of the joint
From above comes the tendon of the anterior thigh muscle (Quadriceps femoris) known as Quadriceps tendon, which attaches to the superior surface of patella and continues down from patella to the tibial tubercle as patellar ligament. A ligament is a fibrous extension connecting bone to bone in a joint. It is the patellar ligament and more importantly its attachment that is the cause of the problem with Osgood schlatters disease. The patellar ligament (so the extension of the quadriceps femoris muscle) attaches directly into the growth plate on the front of the tibia. See the images for further clarification.
Osgood Schlatters disease usually occurs when the Quadriceps femoris muscle (the front thigh muscle that is used for extending the knee), is used extensively such as in activities involving running, jumping and kicking etc. This puts repeated stress over the growing part of tibia where patellar ligament inserts, leading to pain and inflammation at this site. This can often lead to an avulsion fracture, in which the ligament pulls a small piece of bone off the growing tibia. When this fracture heals, it leads to the formation of a permanent bony bump at the site.