If you’re a parent with an active teenager, or a sporting teen yourself, you are likely to have come across a friend, a child or perhaps even experienced this disease yourself. Osgood Schlatters is a common disease in preadolescent kids that comes about from repetitive use of leg muscles (i.e from lots of activity, running, jumping) or from a sudden growth spurt.
So how does it happen? Our patella tendon (see picture) connects to an area called the tibial tubercle, under which is an area of bone that is still immature and soft and hardening (“growth plate”) in preadolescents. With repetitive traction from the quadriceps muscle (thigh) or a sudden growth spurt where the bones grow faster than the muscles, this growth plate gets irritated and inflamed. The inflammation can cause pain and an increase in bone growth in this area which can lead to a bony lump at the base of the knee.
What signs would lend you toward thinking you had Osgoods?
You are likely to experience a gradual onset of pain over the tibial tubercle/patella tendon, (below the knee) after activities such as running or jumping. It may stop you from participating in your sport.
What can you do about it?
The good news is that Osgood Schlatters will resolve itself on its’ own once the patient has finished growing. However, intervention is often needed prior to this as the pain can limit an active childhood. This involves modifying your sport so that you can continue to play pain free, sometimes resting for longer periods. Assistance with loosening up overactive quadriceps muscles can also be beneficial as can advise for decreasing inflammation.
If you think you might be suffering from Osgood Schlatters and want some guidance and a treatment plan to get back to your sport ASAP, book in to see one of our physios now. Book online here, or call us on (08) 9448 2994.