Osgood Schlatter’s is a common cause of knee pain in young active adolescents. With sport starting up again, we are seeing it more frequently in the clinic.
Here is a quick guide:
What is Osgood Schlatter’s?
Osgood Schlatter’s occurs at the tibial tuberosity growth plate – the bony prominence just below your knee cap. It is an overuse injury that occurs when this growth plate undergoes repetitive stress, causing inflammation and pain. It is often due to repetitive quadricep muscle contractions, as your quads attach to this growth plate via the patella tendon.
Risk factors for Osgood Schlatter’s include:
- A recent growth spurt.
- Boys aged 11-15yrs. It is also (less commonly) seen in girls aged 8-13yrs.
- High levels of activity, especially participation in sports that involve running or jumping.
Signs and symptoms
- Local pain, swelling and tenderness over the tibial tuberosity, aka the bump at the top of your shin bone.
- Pain that worsens with exercise, e.g. to run, jump, climb stairs, squat, or kneel.
The good news is that Osgood Schlatter’s is self-limiting! Symptoms often settle as the growth spurt stage slows – this can take up to two years. Effective physiotherapy management will help to settle acute symptoms, provide necessary guidance, strengthen specific muscles, facilitate sport participation, and avoid growth plate damage. This may include:
- Short term pain relief – taping, isometric exercises, stretches, ice, medication, appropriate warm up/cool downs, load management strategies (e.g. advice for sport)
- Long term – progressive strength and resistance exercises for targeted muscles
If you have any further questions, feel free to shoot me a message or book in to see your physiotherapist for an individualised assessment.