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
  1. 9-16 years of age    
  2.  High impact activities or increased activity levels 
  3. 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?
  • Rest
  • 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
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