Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Ross Hauser, MD

Ross Hauser, MD explains Prolotherapy injection treatment for Osgood-Schlatter Disease.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD) is a disorder involving painful inflammation of the bone, cartilage and/or tendon at the top of the shinbone where the tendon from the kneecap attaches to the shin bone.

An accurate means of diagnosing Osgood-Schlatter disease compounds the problem. Doctors in Japan called for a heightened awareness of risk factors that could predispose children to Osgood-Schlatter disease. They advised doctors to be alerted to growth or height, body weight, body mass index, tightness of the quadriceps femoris and hamstring muscles, muscle strength during knee extension, and flexion. 1

At the end of each of the long bones in the child’s arms and legs is a growth plate made of cartilage. Since cartilage isn’t as strong as bone, stress on the cartilage can cause it to become swollen and irritated. Osgood-Schlatter occurs when the tendon from the kneecap (patellar tendon) pulls very forcefully on the growth plate of the large bone (tibia) below the knee.

The child’s body may try to close that gap by creating new bone growth or calcification of the tendon where it attaches to the tibia or shin bone, resulting in a bony lump in that area. This lump can be very painful, especially when hit or with activities such as kneeling.

Musculoskeletal Injuries in Adolescents


Treating Osgood-Schlatter Disease


The chronic knee pain that results from Osgood-Schlatter disease is usually exacerbated by physical activity, especially running and jumping. As a result, the most common treatment physicians recommend for young athletes is simply rest and cessation from playing sports. Needless to say, although this advice has become accepted practice, it is not popular, especially considering that Osgood-Schlatter disease can last until the bones stop growing. That can be a very long time to wait and not participate in a favorite sport.

Some other possible recommendations include:

When the above modalities fail to bring relief and the condition becomes chronic, surgical intervention may be recommended. Surgery often has its complications, and this particular surgery to remove the calcified areas may leave the patient with circulation issues below the knee.


Prolotherapy for Osgood-Schlatter Disease


As explained in the video by Ross Hauser, MD, Prolotherapy is an injection technique that stimulates soft tissue repair. Independant research has found it safe and effective:

Prolotherapy’s injection technique causes a mild inflammatory response that stimulates the body’s immune system. This boosts blood flow to the damaged areas, and causes an influx of reparative cells to come in to heal the weakened tendon attachment and cartilage. It even stimulates the body to lay down collagen, which is what the tendon and cartilage are made of. This new collagen causes a strengthening of the tendon, the tendon attachment, the cartilage, and the weakened soft tissue in the treated area. In short, Prolotherapy gives the body the resources it needs to repair.

An extremely safe and effective natural medicine treatment, Prolotherapy stimulates repair where the patellar tendon attaches to the tibial tubercle, and causes the tendon to strengthen. Once the tendon reaches normal strength, the athlete can go back to their normal activities. Prolotherapy can get the young athlete back long before the standard of rest, physical therapy or the wait and see approach.


1 Nakase J, Goshima K, Numata H, Oshima T, Takata Y, Tsuchiya H. Precise risk factors for Osgood-Schlatter disease. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2015 Sep;135(9):1277-81. doi: 10.1007/s00402-015-2270-2. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

2 Sanderson LM, Bryant A. Effectiveness and safety of prolotherapy injections for management of lower limb tendinopathy and fasciopathy: a systematic review. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. 2015;8:57. doi:10.1186/s13047-015-0114-5.

3 Topol GA, Podesta LA, Reeves KD, Raya MF, Fullerton BD, Yeh H. Hyperosmolar dextrose injection for recalcitrant Osgood-Schlatter Disease. Pediatrics. 2011;128(5):e1121–e1128. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-1931.

Osgood-Schlatters

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