Origin and outcome of Osgood-Schlatter disease in preadolescent football players


Hartmut Gaulrapp a; Christian Nuehrenboerger b, Lisa-Marie Walther c

a - Facharztpraxis für Orthopädie und Kinderorthopädie München, Leopoldstr. 25, 80802 München, Gaulrapp Deutschland

b - Clinique du Sport, Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg, Luxemburg

c - Biologische Arbeits- und Gesundheitspsychologie, Universität Konstanz, Walther Deutschland

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Chronic braking load on knee joints in football/soccer represents a risk for developing Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD). This study examines the sportspecific risk for OSD and resting complaints after healing.

Material and methods

All consecutive patients between 2015 and 2019 complaining on local pain and swelling at the TT due to sport acitivities were prospectively (level III) included. Patientś disciplines and dominant legs were recorded.


Among a total of 126 patients (101 boys, 25 girls) complaining an average of 6.7 months (0.5-36 months), average age at diagnosis 12.1 years (boys 12.5, girls 10.7 years), 116 were active in sports, 74 of them in disciplines with asymmetrical load like football/soccer, handball, track and field or fencing. Among 46 football players affected unilaterally 32 (69.6 % p < 0.01) had OSD at their standing leg, whereas in symmetrical disciplines the dominant leg was affected only in 8 out of 33 cases.


Only in football/soccer the standing leg is far more prone to OSD than the shooting leg, whereas for symmetrical disciplines there is no statistical correlation. Male gender and age represent typical epidemiologic factors. Further risk or outcome criteria cannot be determined. BMI, growth spurts and muscle shortening are not significant co-aspects. OSD mean duration is 19.5 months with no significant difference in relation to discipline. 74 % of all MOS patients report on resting local pain in kneeing. Sport modification including more balanced load in shooting and standing could be a clue to secondary prevention.