Osgood-Schlatter disease is probably the most frequent cause of knee pain in children. Both boys and girls are equally vulnerable to its debilitating effects. Osgood-Schlatter disease is always characterized by activity-related pain that occurs a few inches below the knee-cap, or patella, on the front of the knee. If unresolved it can be painful, of long duration, and have permanent detrimental effects both on the bone, as well as on a young athlete's performance.
Signs and symptoms
- Pain at the tibial tuberosity (or bony bit at the top of the shin) just below the knee.
- The tibial tuberosity may become swollen or inflamed and may even become more prominent than the other side.
- Tenderness and pain is worse during and after exercise.
- Pain when contracting the quadriceps against resistance or when contracting the muscles with the leg straight.
Main contributing factors
- 9-16 years of age
- High impact activities or increased activity levels
- Growth spurts
Treatment for Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease
- RICE – rest, ice, compression & elevation
- Soft tissue massage & stretching exercise
- If biomechanics is contributory cause – orthotics may be considered
- Knee support or strapping the knee to reduce tension
- Casting if very severe
What can you do?
- Reduce or modify current activities
- Gradually resume normal activity as symptoms resolve
- Ice regularly 15 minutes on, 2 hours off, 15 minutes on
- Footwear assessment – it may be time for a new pair
- Stretch your quad muscles – but not to the point that it causes pain