No superiority of dextrose injections over placebo injections for Osgood-Schlatter disease: a prospective randomized double-blind study

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2020 Feb;140(2):197-202. doi: 10.1007/s00402-019-03297-2. Epub 2019 Nov 11.


Purpose: Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is a traction apophysitis of the tibial tuberosity. Patellar tendinopathy and deep infrapatellar bursitis have recently been shown to contribute to pain in patients with OSD. We compared the effects of dextrose injection and saline injection.

Methods: We performed a clinical trial from April 2012 to January 2016 and included 49 knees from 37 boys and 1 girl (mean age, 12.3 ± 1.1 years) for whom conventional conservative therapy for > 1 month was ineffective. They were randomly assigned to receive double-blind injections of 1% lidocaine (1 mL) with 20% dextrose (1 mL; dextrose group) or 1% lidocaine (1 mL) with saline (1 mL; saline group). Injections were administered monthly for 3 months by a single investigator. The Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment (VISA) score was used to evaluate anterior knee pain.

Results: Overall, 43 knees were included; 6 knees were lost to follow-up. The mean pre-injection VISA scores in the dextrose and saline groups were 58.7 ± 18.3 and 63.4 ± 16.4, respectively. No significant differences were found between the two groups at any time point. The mean VISA score before injections significantly increased at the 1-month follow-up in both groups (P < .01). The injection had no adverse effects.

Conclusions: We were not able to show the efficacy of dextrose injections compared to that of saline.

Level of evidence: Randomized controlled trial. Level I.

Keywords: Osgood–schlatter disease; Randomized double-blind trial; Ultrasonographic guidance injection.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucose* / administration & dosage
  • Glucose* / adverse effects
  • Glucose* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteochondrosis / drug therapy*
  • Pain Management* / adverse effects
  • Pain Management* / methods
  • Pain Management* / statistics & numerical data
  • Placebos
  • Prospective Studies


  • Placebos
  • Glucose