Osgood-Schlatter disease happens when the quadricep tendon repetitively pulls on the patella and patellar tendon that attaches to the growth plate of the shinbone.
This condition is one of the most common causes of knee pain in children and adolescents that are in a growth spurt and around the age of puberty. In most cases, these individuals also participate in sports that involve jumping and running. The repetitive activities create increased pulling on the bone where the patellar tendon attaches. This is the location of a growth plate, where bone growth occurs.
Rapid growth in children and adolescents makes their muscles and bones more vulnerable to repetitive pulling. This can cause irritation and tear of the patellar tendon which creates pain and swelling in the area. With increased severity, the tendon can pull some bone away and more bone will be laid down, causing a boney bump below the kneecap.
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain that worsens with activity
- Rest relieves pain
- Swelling and tenderness over the upper shinbone, just under the knee
- Limping after exercise or activities
- Muscle tightness around the knee (hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscle)
- Boney bump below the kneecap
How can it be treated by a Physiotherapist?
A physiotherapist will conduct a thorough history and physical examination to determine if you are presenting with Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease. They can help reduce pain and inflammation by giving advice on activity modifications and providing active treatment. Treatment may include therapeutic modalities, manual therapy, and a comprehensive exercise program. When appropriate, your physiotherapist may choose to incorporate ice, therapeutic ultrasound, taping, stretching, and strengthening to manage this condition.
It is important to have your condition evaluated by a physiotherapist so they can determine the appropriate course of treatment.
As this is in part an inflammatory condition, it could be appropriate to visit your family doctor who may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication to help alleviate pain. They may also consider ordering an x-ray to better visualize the boney changes that may have occurred.