What is Osgood Schlatters Disease?
Osgood Schatters Disease is a common cause of knee pain in adolescents. It is caused by inflammation of the patella tendon as it inserts onto the tibial tubercle, which is the boney prominence at the front of your shin bone. Osgood Schlatters Disease occurs during growth spurts, commonly around 13-14 years old in boys and 10-11 in girls. Osgood Schlatters Disease affects boys more than girls, this is typically because boys are more active which increases stress on their bones and muscles.
Osgood Schlatters Disease is the result of the quadricep muscle pulling on the patella tendon with knee flexion, which puts tension on the tibial tubercle. The tibial tubercle covers the growth plate at the end of the tibia. This can, in some children, lead to inflammation of the growth plate, which makes the boney prominence at the from of the shin larger and more pronounced. Growing children have growth plates which are areas at the end of bones that are cartilage. Growth plates add length and width to the bone. Growth plates are much weaker and more susceptible to injury. This cartilage hardens when you’re fully grown. Every long bone in the body has two growth plates at either end.
Commonly children who have Osgood Schlatters Disease will experience one or all of the following symptoms:
- Pain and tenderness on touch and with movement at the tibial tubercle.
- Swelling/pronounce lump at the tibial tubercle.
- Tightness/reduced range of motion on the quadricep group and hamstring group.
Your Soft Tissue Occupational Therapist or doctor will complete a hands on assessment of your child’s tibial tuberosity to check for tenderness and pain on touch. They will also complete an assessment of your child’s movement (i.e. running, jumping, hopping) to elicit a pain response. A Osgood Schlatters Disease diagnosis should be confirmed with an Xray.
The focus of Soft Tissue Occupational Therapy is to reduce inflammation and pain. Soft Tissue Occupational Therapist specialise in hands on treatments. This includes, neuromuscular techniques, dry needling, trigger point therapy and PNF stretching. Early Soft Tissue Occupational Therapy treatment will focus on reducing spasming and tightness in your child’s quadricep group, hamstring group and surround structures. Your Soft Tissue Occupational Therapist will provide you with a stretching and strengthening program aimed at pain relief. A good exercise to start with is a standing quadricep stretch.
Your Soft Tissue Occupational Therapist will limit your child’s physical activity until no pain or discomfort is felt during or after exercise. Often this means rest for several months. Your child’s return to exercise should be guided by an Exercise Physiologist to ensure your child remain pain free and to prevent future relapse in pain. Exercise Physiologists are experts in exercise rehabilitation. Your doctor may prescribe non steroidal anti inflammatories if required.
At Urban Health HQ our highly trained Soft Tissue Occupational Therapists and Exercise Physiologists will use a variety of approaches to help treat your injuries, conditions or any concerns you may have. You can make an appointment today by calling 0411563391.