Osgood-Schlatter Disease is a common cause of knee pain seen in adolescents. It is a gradual, non-traumatic condition that commonly occurs during the times of a growth spurt as the bones, muscles and tendons are growing at different rates.
The tendon that attaches the kneecap to the shinbone (tibia) pulls on the growth plate over the shinbone when the knee extends, causing an irritation to that area. Through repeated use of the knee (such as running or jumping) the area becomes more irritated causing inflammation. This inflammation can then present as pain and swelling under the knee.
Osgood-Schlatter Disease most commonly affects:
- Active children, especially those involved in sports with running and jumping
- Children that recently experienced a growth spurt (around 9-14 years of age)
- It is more commonly seen in boys than girls
Signs and symptoms:
- Pain below the kneecap
- Swelling or increased warmth under the knee
- Pain that gets worse with activity, and eases with rest
- Tightness of the thigh (quadriceps) muscle
How a physiotherapist can treat Osgood-Schlatter Disease:
When you see your physiotherapist, they will assess, provide advice and help to manage this condition. Management will depend on the findings of the physical assessment but can include:
- Advice regarding activity modification
- Stretching of the quadricep and hamstring muscle
- Strengthening of the muscles around the knee
- Advice regarding using an ice pack over the inflamed area of the knee, which can help reduce pain and swelling. The ice-pack can be used for 20 minutes at a time, multiple times per day.
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact us today to book in with one of our physiotherapists.