Osgood Schlatter's Disease
Osgood Schlatter's disease is an injury of the bone growth plate at the front of the shin bone (Tibia) just below the kneecap. It occurs in adolescents between the ages of 10-12 in girls and 13-15 in boys. Osgood Schlatter's is more a condition than a disease.
How does it happen?
The large and powerful quadriceps muscle at the front of the thigh inserts via the patella tendon into the growth plate of the tibia. Forces are transmitted via this tendon from the muscle to the bone. In children the point of insertion of the patella tendon (Tibial Tuberosity) is separated from the tibia via the growth plate. The growth plate allows the bone to grow however it can produce a weakness at this point.
Repeated pulling or traction on the growth plate can produce pain in this area. This is common in running, kicking or jumping.
How does it feel?
The child will complain of pain localised to the "bump" (Tibial Tuberosity) below the knee where the tendon inserts. This may occur during or after activity.
How is Osgood Schlatter's treated?
Osgood Schlatter's requires a thorough biomechanical assessment to identify factors that may be contributing to the condition. This could include tight or weak muscles, poor foot posture (flat feet), or poor technique. These factors are addressed as required.
Initial treatment involves activity modification and localised treatment modalities to settle pain. This is followed with strengthening and stretches as indicated in the initial assessment. Occasionally Orthotics are prescribed to correct foot posture. Taping can also be used to assist in pain management. Complete rest is rarely indicated.
Are there any long term effects?
Osgood Schlatter's is a self limiting condition that will resolve when the growth plate fuses. It will not interfere with your child's growth. In some cases the tibial tuberosity may become slightly enlarged however this will not affect your Childs development or function.
What should I do?
Osgood Schlatter's needs to be appropriately assessed and treated to allow your child to continue participating in their chosen activity. At Beaumont Hills Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic we can assess your child and recommend appropriate strategies to help your child return to normal recreational activities.
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