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Medicina 2004; 40 (4) 363-369

Importance of conservative treatment and physical load restriction to the course of Osgood-Schlatter’s disease

Viktoras Gerulis, Romas Kalesinskas1, Sigitas Pranckevičius1, Paulius Birgeris1

Clinic of Pediatric Surgery, 1Clinic of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Kaunas University of Medicine Hospital, Lithuania

Key words: knee pain, Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, osteochondrosis of the tibial tuberosity, avulsion fractures.

Summary. Osgood- Schlatter’s disease is one of most common causes of knee pain in young patients. In 2000–2002, 171 young patients were consulted for Osgood-Schlatter’s disease in the Departments of Orthopedics and Traumatology in Kaunas University of Medicine. There were 41 (24%) females and 130 (76%) males; the age ranging from 10 to 27 years. Patients were divided into two groups: the first group (92 patients) underwent conservative treatment and physical load restriction; the second group (79 patients) had no physical load restriction or they neglected reduced physical load guidelines. In the first group 52 patients were treated by conservative measures and physical load restriction, while 40 patients had only physical load restriction. Pain disappeared faster (approximately after 13 months) in the first group patients, who were treated conservatively and had reduced physical load, compared to patients, who had only physical load restriction (pain disappeared approximately after 15 months), p<0.05 (p=0.0008). Pain disappeared faster in patients who had only physical load restriction (approximately after 15 months) compared to the second group patients who had no physical load restriction (approximately after 16.5 months), p<0.05 (p=0.006). There was 1 complication (encapsulated ossification producing pain) in the first group, compared with 8 complications in the second one (2 patients with 3 type avulsion fracture, 1 patient with 2 type avulsion fracture, and 5 patients with encapsulated ossification producing pain). Complications were treated intraoperatively. Physical load restriction is important for beneficial course of Osgood-Schlatter’s disease and prevention of complications.

Correspondence to V. Gerulis, Clinic of Pediatric Surgery, Kaunas University of Medicine Hospital, Eivenių 2, 50010 Kaunas, Lithuania. E-mail:

Received 12 March 2003, accepted 31 March 2004