Osgood Schlatter’s is an overuse knee injury which occurs during the early teenage years. This condition commonly occurs during the adolescent growth spurt with activities involving strong repetitive quadriceps contractions, such as jumping, running and high levels of activity or sport. The condition develops due to the attachment of the inferior patella tendon into the tibia not being strong enough to cope with the amount of force being applied to it. As a result, it disrupts the immature bone and causes the body to lay new bone down to strengthen the area.
- Pain and inflammation on the bone just under the knee cap
- A lump starting to form on the bone just under the knee cap
- Pain during exercise, running, jumping, squatting or kneeling
- Tightness in the hamstring or quadriceps muscles
Early physio assessment and diagnosis of the condition is important to guide you on decreasing load to a level that the tissue is coping with to give the area a chance to strengthen up. Rarely is stopping activity necessary, however the longer the condition is poorly managed, the greater the reduction in activity and time required to get symptoms under control. It is not uncommon for the condition to last years when poorly managed with much greater bony deformity in the front of the knee which may result in pain and discomfort inactivity such as kneeling, well into adult life.
It might be necessary to begin a stretching program that gradually progresses into an appropriate strength and loading program. As symptoms settle, return to sport exercises will be included to make sure the risk of recurrence is low.
If you think your child or teenager has Osgood-Schlatter’s, book an appointment with one of our expert physios today to get a rehab plan to prevent long term issues and get them back to the activities they love!