Osgood Schlatters disease is a condition that occurs at the growth plate located on the tuberosity (bony lump) on the shin bone (tibia). At the growth plate the large patella (knee cap) tendon attaches. Repeated contraction of the tendon through contraction of the quadriceps muscle may cause inflammation, softening and even partial breaking off of the developing growth centre.
Prognosis and symptoms of Osgood Schlatters Disease
Osgood Schlatters disease occurs during the time of growth spurts when muscles and tendons become tighter as bone becomes longer. It is also more common in those children who are involved in a high level of physical activity, especially so if those activities involve running or jumping.
There is usually tenderness on the shin bone where the patella tendon attaches. As well as this there will also be increased pain with increased activity. In general the condition usually settles within two years of onset once the growth plate has fused.
Your physiotherapist will be able to diagnose this condition and assist with the reduction of pain and inflammation as well help in the long term management of this condition. Osgood Schlatter is a self limiting condition and management usually requires activity modification to reduce pain and inflammation. In the initial stages physiotherapy may include the use of electrotherapy modalities, ice and massage to reduce the inflammation.
As tightness of the quadriceps is also common in predisposing children to this disease physiotherapy may also include stretches and massage releases of the quadriceps. Muscle strengthening will commence once pain settles. In the long-term pain is the main guide to limitations to activity. Your physiotherapist may also be able to help in the modification of other predisposing factors e.g. altered foot/leg biomechanics. In the case of altered foot biomechanics a podiatry assessment may be required.