Osgood Schlatters Physiotherapy | Move Physiotherapy Fremantle
Is your child complaining of pain at the front of their knee? Do they have a painful bone are at the bottom of their knee? Are they experiencing pain with jumping and kneeling?
Osgood Schlatter’s Disease is a highly common cause of knee pain in kids, especially who are undergoing a growth spurt, or who are involved in jumping sports that involve powerful quadriceps contractions. It is most common in females between the ages of 8 and 13, and boys aged 11-15. Symptoms of this injury generally includes:
- Pain at the insertion of the patella tendon into the tibial tubercle on the shin bone. This may be accompanied by swelling or a small bump at this insertion point.
- Pain with running, but especially jumping. This is a common injury in kids participating in sports such as basketball, netball and volleybal.
- It can be highly painful to kneel on the affected knee.
Move Physiotherapy are experts in knee pain physiotherapy. We can expertly diagnose Osgood Schlatter’s disease or differentiate it between other common sources of knee pain in adolescents.
UNDERSTANDING 'WHY' OSGOOD SCHLATTERS HAPPENS
There are two main reasons that Osgood Schlatter’s lesions occur:
During adolescence, our bone structure is weaker and less mature in order to allow growth. As such, it is unable to withstand high forces as occurs during running, jumping and other high velocity movements which can result in pain and inflammation around the tibial tubercle. In severe cases, this can even cause micro-fractures and avulsion fractures at this site.
During our growth spurt, the femur can develop at a rate that exceeds increase in the increase in extensibility of our quadriceps muscles. This results in increased tensile force which can create pain and inflammation at the tibial tubercle.
PHYSIOTHERAPY TREATMENT OF OSGOOD SCHLATTERS
The knee pain caused by Osgood Schlatter’s disease is largely self-limiting, in that, the adolescent athlete is simply limited by their pain tolerance during sport and activity. Furthermore, these symptoms generally self-resolve when the adolescent growth spurt is completed, at around age 14 for girls and 16 for boys. However, it is important to ensure that symptoms remain at the mild end of the spectrum to prevent fractures from occurring at the site of the tibial tubercle and to avoid damage at the growth plate.
Your physiotherapist can assist in rehabilitation of this condition by:
1. Reducing tension to the quadriceps muscles, thereby reducing tensile load onto the tibial tubercle. Consistency using a foam roller is hugely important to reduce this muscle tension.
2. Restoring any muscle imbalances. For example, if an adolescent athlete is largely quadriceps dominant with their jumping and squatting movements, this means they place more strain through the quadriceps muscles and therefore through the patellar tendon into the tibial tubercle. In contrast, a hip dominant pattern places greater load through the gluteal and hamstring muscles. An adolescent may adopt a quadriceps pattern of movement due to weakness through their hamstrings and gluteal muscles, and as such strengthening the hamstrings and posterior chain can even out this load distribution and thereby alleviate pain.