Apr 24

Knee Pain in Children: Osgood-Schlatter

Osgood-Schlatter disease is one of the most common causes of knee pain in adolescents. It is a painful condition felt just below the knee cap on the upper part of the shin bone (Tibia).  It commonly occurs in teenagers who play sports, particularly sports that involve kicking, jumping, or running.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Osgood-Schlatter usually develops as a result of overuse of the quadriceps muscles. The quadriceps attach to the shin bone through the patellar tendon. The pull of the tendon on the shin bone can cause this area to swell and be painful since the tibia is still growing and can’t withstand the strain on it. As the bone tries to heal itself, callus often forms and causes a hard bony bump on the shin.

The severity of the pain tends to vary. It is usually worse during and just after activity and tends to ease with rest. The “bump” on the shin may be painful to touch as well. The pain can last a few months and may persist until growing has stopped.

Treatment typically focuses on decreasing pain and swelling at the tendon attachment site. L?????aser therapy is often very effective at reducing this inflammation. Stretching of tight quadriceps muscles and strengthening of weaker muscles is also important to prevent recurrence. Sporting activities may have to be modified temporarily to help with healing.

If you have an adolescent who is experiencing sport related knee pain, visit your physiotherapist for an assessment and treatment plan.

– Jennifer Smith, PT

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