When kids take part in activities that entail running, jumping, or bending, the thigh muscles pull on the tendon that connects the kneecap to the growth plate. When this activity is repetitive, it can cause the tendon to pull on the growth plate where the muscle inserts into the shinbone. As a result, pain and swelling occur with Osgood-Schlatter disease. Some children's bodies try to close that gap with new bone development and can cause a bony lump in that location.
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