Osgood Schlatter's disease

Osgood Schlatter’s disease is a painful knee condition which develops just below the kneecap at the growth plate of the tibial bone (tibial tubercle). It typically occurs in adolescents during a growth spurt, and disappears once they stop growing (around 14 years for girls and 16 for boys). Repeated straightening and contraction of the quadriceps (thigh) muscle during activities including running, jumping and kicking causes pulling of the patella tendon on the tibial tubercle (shin bone), this can irritate and inflame the undeveloped growth plate underneath. Tendons can become tighter during growth spurts, increasing the risk of growth-related injuries. Active children are at a higher risk of developing Osgood Schlatter’s disease but it can also occur in children that are not so active.

Symptoms

  • Pain in one or both knees during growth phases

  • The repeated pulling on the bone can cause a lump to form on the tibial tubercle, just below the kneecap. When this lump is compressed it is very painful.

  • The condition is normally worse during activities including running, squatting, kicking, going up and down stairs.

  • Pain typically subsides during rest.

Treatment

Osgood Schlatter’s disease is self-limiting and will disappear once the child has completed their growth stage. In the meantime, it’s important to manage the child and their pain.

• Rest from or modification of aggravating activities.

• Ice may be helpful in reducing the pain post-activity

• Massage of the quadriceps, hamstring and calf muscles may be helpful

• Stretching and strengthening of the above muscles. Your myotherapist can assist you with

exercises.

• Bracing or taping around the knee may be helpful during activity

There is a risk of bone fracture with Osgood Schlatter’s disease so it is important not to play through the pain.