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Osgood Schlatters Syndrome

Are you a very active adolescent who is suffering from pain localised to the front of your knee? Is the painful area also seemingly manifesting a lump? Does this pain also seem to heighten after exercise?

You might have Tibial Tuberosity Apophysitis or what’s better known as Osgood Schlatters Syndrome. Osgood Schlatters syndrome is the inflammation of the bone at the front of the shin called the Tibial Tuberosity. This is the site where the patella tendon will attach onto your Tibia (shinbone).

A study by Gildaso Lucenta et al (2010) found that Osgood Schlatters had a prevalence of 9.8% in boys and girls, aged between 12 and 15 with the main lifestyle associated factor being regular sport activity.

Pain will be felt during increased activity, most noticeable with squatting or jumping exercises, walking up stairs or when the site is in direct contact such as kneeling.

Osgood Schlatters Syndrome

Osgood Schlatters is an overuse injury whereby strong repetitive contractions of the quadriceps muscle will cause a pulling effect on the Tibial Tuberosity resulting in pain and inflammation. When our bones are young we are most susceptible as the Apophysis (area where bones grow from and is also the site of tendon attachments) is unable to withstand such forces. In more chronic cases, due to the repetitive forces, the tibial tuberosity becomes enlarged and will manifest as a bony lump at the front of the knee.

Symptoms are usually resolved with maturity of the bone as the Apophysis hardens and is able to withstand force. However symptoms can be quite severe and debilitating whilst the disease is in its active stage if not actively managed.

A study by Beovich et al (1988) found that 91% of athletes with Osgood Schlatters syndrome who were treated by a trained Physiotherapist were able to successfully manage their symptoms with rehabilitation.

If you feel as though you are suffering from Osgood Schlatters and are unable to seek immediate professional help, then be sure to read the following 4 tips to Osgood Schlatters management that will help you manage the pain until an appointment with a physiotherapist can be made.

  1. Ice and anti-inflammatories: Ice the painful area and take anti-inflammatories after any activity. This will help to relieve the inflammation and pain caused by increased exercise.
  2. Reduce the load: Osgood Schlatters is an overuse injury, temporary reduction in training load will reduce symptoms – this will allow you to correct movement patterns at a lower level of exercise.
  3. Stretch your quadriceps: A looser quadriceps muscle will reduce the tension on the patella tendon and decrease the pulling on the tibial tuberosity.
  4. Taping: Tightly wrapping tape around the knee, over the patella tendon can act to decrease the tension on the tibial tuberosity and decrease pain during sport activity.

If you have Osgood Schlatters and require physiotherapy treatment, be sure to secure an appointment with one of our team members at Insync Physiotherapy in Marrickville for effective relief and prevention of symptoms. You can contact our practice on 02 9569 5145 or book an appointment online. In the meantime,watch the video below and learn how to tape yourself as a par of effectively managing your injury.

Thanks for reading,
Insync Physiotherapy Team