What is Osgood-Schlatters Disease?
One of the most common knee conditions that active children may develop is Osgood Schlatters disease.
Osgood-Schlatter’s disease is an overuse injury which presents itself as pain and swelling at the upper shin bone, just underneath the knee. Your child is likely to report increased pain with running, walking up or down hill, stairs, and any jumping sports. In some cases, children may develop a painful limp and/or a painful bump at the top of their shin bone where the tendon attaches onto the growth plate.
This condition occurs at the growth plate below the knee joint where the cartilage sits and is yet to develop into hard, calcified bone. It happens particularly in children who have had recent growth spurts and in children who play sports that put a lot of demand on the quadriceps. This is due to repetitive strain of the extensor mechanism, causing the quadricep tendon to repetitively pull on the growth plate that it is attached to (see below).
n severe cases, this repetitive strain and “pull” on the growth plate may lead to the growth plate being lifted off the bone (avulsion) and reducing its blood supply causing osteochondritis.
What causes Osgood-Schlatters Disease?
Common sports are:
The great news is that Physiotherapy involving load management, strapping techniques, and activity modification have proven very favorable results in treating this knee condition.
How do I know if I have Osgood-Schlatters Disease?
A thorough examination including walking pattern, knee range of motion, lower limb strength and discussion around sports and general activity will be performed. This will allow both the therapist and patient to develop a plan of action and kickstart your child’s road to recovery.
As the acute symptoms of the injury start to reduce, your child will be introduced to strengthening exercises to help with load tolerance, and simple stretches to keep their joints and muscles flexible.
Can I play Sports?
Most children return to the sports they love-pain free!
Some minor symptoms may linger until your child is done growing. Simple strapping techniques and a gradually upgraded strengthening program will help your child manage his/her symptoms during this time.