Osgood Schlatters – The Sporting Knee

The Sporting knee: Osgood Shlatters
Osgood Shlatters is an overuse injury of the knee which commonly affects children and adolescents. Symptoms usually develop during a growth spurt due to an increase in tension on the tendon that attaches from the kneecap to the shin, placing excess load onto the growth plate (a cartilage point in immature bone) of the shin bone. This condition tends to affects boys more than girls between the ages of 10-15 years old with symptoms typically presenting during activity or exercise and improving with rest. There will be tenderness on the bony prominence of the shin bone with possible swelling and the child may be reluctant to put weight on the affected side resulting in limping or a change in walking pattern.
Children who regularly play sports involving repetitive running, jumping and twisting such as soccer, netball and tennis have a higher risk of developing Osgood Shlatters due to the increased load on the knee. Other factors which may cause an onset of symptoms are tightness in the thigh muscles or hamstrings, a history of a previous knee injury, weakness around the hips and pelvis, poor foot posture or non supportive footwear. There can also be external factors such as a sudden increase in training frequency and intensity and competitions.
A physiotherapist is able to diagnose Osgood Shlatters through a detailed review and examination. In some cases, especially if the symptoms have been ongoing for a long period of time X-ray imaging may assist with diagnosis but is not essential. Once diagnosis is confirmed it is important to rest from sport and aggravating activities. A physiotherapist is then able to begin a gradual, pain free return to sport program when the child is able to manage. Tapping or bracing is an effective way to offload the tendon and can assist with pain relief. Other treatment techniques include massage, ultrasound therapy, advise on footwear and strengthening and stretching techniques.
If your child has been complaining of knee pain with their sport it is important to have them assessed to ensure they have effective treatment and management. Our physiotherapists at Hinteractive Physio will be able to assist with an evidence based approach of management and return to sport.

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