Osgood Schlatters

Osgood Schlatters is a condition seen in adolescents – most commonly boys between 13-15 years old.

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This involves excessive traction (or pull) being placed on the tibial tuberosity (the boney prominence below the knee cap). This is usually due to high levels of activity/sport during a growth spurt.

Background

The overload results in irritation to the area, and subsequent pain. It can also lead to abnormal bone growth at the tibial tuberosity – causing a bump.

Symptoms

  • Anterior (front) of knee pain – usually dull in nature, and local to one specific area.
  • Local swelling at tibial tuberosity, as well as tenderness at the same spot.
  • Pain after sport or with a quadriceps contraction – especially loaded quadriceps activities (like squatting, running, kicking or jumping). Clients can also report pain with kneeling.

Care

  • The good news is this condition is usually self-limiting with time, and majority of clients make a full recovery. A physiotherapist can recommend what to do/avoid to settle pain, and speed up the healing process.
  • Advice to avoid activities/sports that flare up pain – this is labelled as ‘load management’. This usually involves limiting high impact or heavy load sports.
  • The physiotherapist may address any muscle imbalance at the knee joint. This means releasing tight muscles (commonly quadriceps) and strengthening muscles that may be weaker.

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