CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
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Each of the long bones in your child's arms and legs has a growth plate, made of cartilage, at each end of the bone. Cartilage isn't as strong as bone, and stress on the growth plate can cause it to become swollen and painful.
During activities that involve a lot of running, jumping and bending — such as soccer, basketball, volleyball and ballet — your child's thigh muscles (quadriceps) pull on the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone.
This repeated stress can cause the tendon to pull away from the shinbone a bit, resulting in the pain and swelling associated with Osgood-Schlatter disease. In some cases, your child's body may try to close that gap with new bone growth, which can result in a bony lump at that spot.
- Moutzouros V, et al. Osteochondroses. In. DeLee JC, et al. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1111724571&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..00022-1--sc2&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..00022-1--s0125&uniqId=234606866-3. Accessed Feb. 1, 2011.
- Mercier LR. Osgood-Schlatter disease. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1111724571&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00024-X--sc0055&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00024-X--sc0055&uniqId=234606866-3. Accessed Feb. 1, 2011.
- Kienstra AJ, et al. Osgood-Schlatter disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 1, 2011.
- Chang-Miller A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 6, 2011.