Treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease: review of the literature

E Circi, Y Atalay, T Beyzadeoglu
Musculoskeletal Surgery 2017, 101 (3): 195-200

BACKGROUND: Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is a self-limiting condition which occurs commonly in adolescence.

PURPOSE: The objective of this article is to review published literature regarding pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of OSD.

METHODS: A search of the literature was performed on the electronic databases PubMed, Cochrane and SCOPUS databases between 1962 and 2016 for pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease.

RESULTS: OSD, also known as apophysitis of the tibial tubercle, is a common disease with most cases resolving spontaneously with skeletal maturity. In pathophysiology, the most accepted theory is repetitive knee extensor mechanism contraction. The pain is localized to the anterior aspect of the proximal tibia over the tibial tuberosity. They may describe a dull ache exacerbated by jumping or stair climbing. Radiological evaluation may indicate superficial ossicle in the patellar tendon. Osgood-Schlatter is a self-limited disease and generally ceases with skeletal maturity. Treatment is usually symptomatic. Adults with continued symptoms may need surgical treatment if they fail to respond to conservative treatment. Surgical procedures include open, bursoscopic and arthroscopic technique. Arthroscopic surgery is beneficial over an open procedure due to early postoperative recovery, no incisional scar in front of the tuberosity that usually causes discomfort in kneeling with a better cosmetic result and the ability to address concomitant intra-articular pathology.

CONCLUSION: Osgood-Schlatter syndrome runs a self-limiting course, and usually complete recovery is expected with closure of the tibial growth plate. Overall prognosis for Osgood-Schlatter syndrome is good, except for some discomfort in kneeling and activity restriction in a few cases. Arthroscopic techniques seem to be the best choice of treatment of unresolved Osgood-Schlatter lesions.

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