Osgood Schlatter Syndrome is commonly seen in growing adolescences and affects the area below the knee, in particular the tibial tuberosity which is an elevation of bone where the patella tendon attaches. It is characterised by localised pain, swelling and tenderness to this area resulting from increased tension and repetitive strain leading to microtrauma and ossification to the growing bone and can affect one or both knees. This can lead to the adolescent not being able to participate in sports or hobbies and potentially change the function of the lower limb whilst symptoms are aggravated. Osgood Schlatter can affect 1 in 10 adolescents with boys more susceptible then girls. Ages can range from 12-15 years for boys and 8-12 years for girls. It is often a self-limiting condition meaning it will generally resolve over time once the adolescent has finished their growth spurts.
Symptoms can include:
• Pain below the knee – starts intermittently then progress to a constant pain
• Pain presents during or after high impact activities, e.g, jumping & running
• Pain decreases with rest
• Swelling, inflammation or warmth below the knee
• Bony lump formation under the knee
• Some adolescence present with pain or soreness in the quadricep
The main approach to treatment is conservative management to prevent permanent damage and enlargement of the tibial tuberosity. Treatment programs vary depending on the severity of symptoms experienced by the individualand can include application of ice, activity modification, protective knee pads, knee supports or braces and in some cases total rest from activities causing the pain. Exercise programs comprising of flexibility and strengthen of the surrounding muscle such as the quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles are an important part of treatment. Manual therapies can assist in management of this condition and can be incorporate with several of the mentioned treatments.