Dr. Robert F. Kidd    

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Osgoode-Schlatter Disease

Osgoode-Schlatter disease is a relatively common cause of knee pain in young adolescents. Typically pain develops in the front of the knee in a localized spot a few inches below the knee cap. There is usually some swelling and tenderness in this spot, the tibial tubercle. It is the place where the large tendon from the knee cap, the patella, attaches to the main bone of the lower leg, the tibia.

The pain seems to start without any preceding injury, but is always made worse by exercise, especially in sports that involve running or jumping. The onset of Osgoode-Schlatter disease is usually at age 11 or 12 and coincides with the growth spurt, disappearing without treatment at age 16 or 17. No lasting problems usually result, but the pain spoils the patient's athletic activities during the years that it is present.

No conventional treatment has proven successful, but either of two non-conventional methods will usually succeed. The simplest is to take supplemental vitamin E and selenium for a couple of months. If this does not work, prolotherapy directed at the tibial tubercle will usually cure the problem in two or three sessions.

For more on Osgoode-Schlatter disease, see publications.