Home > Mom's Life > Mom's Health and Fitness > General Health > Illnesses and Diseases > Glucosamine and Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Glucosamine and Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Henry Bernstein, M.D.

Q: Is it safe and effective to give my 14-year-old son glucosamine and chondroitin to treat Osgood-Schlatter disease?

A: Osgood-Schlatter disease is an inflammation of a bony area just below the knee where a tendon attaches over a growth plate. The pain occurs because of the stress placed on this area from intense physical activity, such as with jumping and running. It is most common when athletically active children are going through their pubertal growth spurt.

The standard treatment for Osgood-Schlatter is to use something for pain (for example, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen), ice, and most of all, rest from the strenuous activity. The pain usually subsides with such a plan. In most cases, the pain will completely subside when the child's growth plate closes at the end of the growth spurt.

Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are two substances that have been used to treat joint pain in adults. These are produced naturally in our bodies and are essential for development of the cartilage that covers the ends of long bones that form joints like the knee and shoulder. There is no published research on the effectiveness of chondroitin or glucosamine for the treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease. Moreover, these compounds are sold as nutritional supplements and not as medications, so they are not subjected to the same rigorous testing for safety as prescription drugs. There is very little information on the safety of their use in children. Therefore, I would not recommend using these supplements to treat your teen's Osgood-Schlatter's.

More on: Expert Advice

Henry Bernstein, M.D., is currently the associate chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and director of Primary Care at Children's Hospital, Boston. He also has an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks