Osgood Schlatter Disease

December 1, 2017 | By | Reply

A 13-year-old boy who plays football complains of pain below the knee cap. He complains of shooting pain with increased physical exertion and high impact activities. What could possibly be happening to his knee? Osgood Schlatter maybe?

What is Osgood Schlatter Disease (OSD)?

Osgood Schlatter disease presents with a painful, bony bump on the shinbone just below the knee. It usually occurs in children and adolescents experiencing growth spurts. The condition is more common in boys (12-15 years) however, with increasing participation of girls (10-13 years) in sports the gender gap has narrowed.

Symptoms increase with sporting activities that involve jumping (basketball, volleyball), running with swift changes of direction (soccer) and/or on direct contact (kneeling).

The condition usually resolves on its own, once the child’s bones stop growing.

How does it occur?

Osgood Schlatter Disease
Osgood Schlatter Disease

During high impact activities like running and jumping or playing a sport, the thigh muscles (quadriceps) cause a pull on the tendon (patellar tendon) which connects the knee cap (patella) to a growth plate (apophysis) above the shin bone (tibial tuberosity). Repeated stress causes the patellar tendon to pull on the growth plate at the tibial tuberosity resulting in pain and swelling. Sometimes the body responds with new bone formation at that area resulting in a bony lump.

What are the common symptoms a child with OSD may experience?

  • Pain and swelling below the knee cap.
  • Pain worsens with physical activities like running, jumping, squatting, climbing stairs or playing a sport.
  • Increased bony bump at the shin bone.

How is OSD diagnosed?

A through physical evaluation by an orthopedic doctor and an X-ray can confirm OSD.

How to treat OSD?

  • Lifestyle modification – Resting the joint, icing the affected area to reduce swelling and avoiding activities which increase the pain in the acute phase.
  • Medical management – This comprises of anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed by the general physician or doctor
  • Physical therapy management –
    • Pain relief and taping can help in reducing the symptoms and progressive training back to sportOsgood Schlatter Disease
    • Improve flexibility: Different forms of stretching techniques to specific muscles.
    • Strength training: Specific and progressive training in order to strengthen the knee and hip musculature.
    • Functional training: Involving proprioception and balance training and agility training which helps in returning to sport.

    Osgood Schlatter Disease

    Osgood Schlatter Disease

At PhysioRehab we aim to give you an accurate diagnosis and early intervention to achieve relief from pain, and an effective return to sports for young athletes.

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