WHAT IS IT?
Osgood-Schlatter’s disease is a repetitive strain injury to the growth plate of the tibia (shin bone), just below the knee joint. This is caused by a strong, repetitive pull of the quadriceps muscles produced during sporting activities. It is common in sports like Basketball, Volleyball, Sprinters, Gymnastics and Football, as they all involve jumping, sprinting and explosive efforts which require big muscle contractions of the quadriceps. Over time this repetitive pull can cause the muscle attachment at the growth plate to become irritated and inflamed and even start to form bone spurring if left untreated.
WHY DO I HAVE IT?
Osgood-Schlatter’s disease is most common in young adolescents who are going through growth phases, usually the onset in males is around age 10-15 years and in females at age 8 -14 years. This is thought to be because the bones are growing at a faster rate than the muscles are stretching, making the muscles tighter and pulling more on the attachment to the bone below the knee. It is also related to high levels of physical exercise and possibly not enough recovery time or stretching pre and post games/events/
The typical presentation of the condition is pain in the front of the knee, just below the knee cap. There can be swelling in the area, but can also be present without swelling. The pain worsens with activity such as running, jumping, cycling, kneeling, walking up and down stairs and kicking a ball. In some cases there is a noticeable bony bump on the top of the shin bone, just below the knee.
HOW DO IT GET RID OF IT?
The good news is the condition is treatable with rest, manual therapy and exercise rehabilitation. The condition usually takes 6-8 weeks to treat but can hang around for up to 2 years if left untreated. Initially the recommendation is rest from sport, RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation), and manual therapy to help bring down the pain, tightness and possible swelling. Then once the pain is under control we can give some rehabilitation exercises and help you gradually go back into sport. Taping the knee is also a good option to help support the knee while getting back into physical activity. It’s important not to overload the knee and quadriceps before they are ready, as this can re-inflame the area. Once we have the pain under control and the area strengthened we can let you go back to being the active and pain free kids you were before the pain ever started.
There can be several causes of knee pain, so if you are unsure if your child has Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, or you need a helping hand, call the clinic on (03) 9702 0094 or book online today
We can’t wait to see you in the clinic and help you with your health.
Blog written by Dr Amelia Sloan – Registered Osteopath.
Berwick Family Osteopathy & Spinal Clinic