Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome

Knee pain

Osgood-Schlatter syndrome is commonly seen in children between the ages of 9-16 years. It is an inflammation of the area just below the knee where the tendon from the kneecap (patella tendon) attaches to the shinbone (tibia).

Osgood-Schlatter syndrome most often occurs during growth spurts, when bones, muscles, tendons, and other structures are changing rapidly. Physical activity puts additional stress on bones and muscles, children who participate in athletics — especially running and jumping sports – are at an increased risk for this condition. However, less active adolescents may also experience this problem.

Osgood-Schlatter syndrome causes pain at the tibial tubercle — the bony bump where the patellar tendon attaches to the tibia (shinbone).

Common Causes

Biomechanical factors play a large role in Osgood Schlatter’s syndrome as the condition is aggravated by excessive pronation of the foot, and the rapid structural changes that occur during growth. Ignoring symptoms is likely to increase further damage and prolong recovery times.

Your children’s paediatric podiatrist would complete an Immediate biomechanical assessment of the foot and lower limb, incorporating a comprehensive evaluation of the structure and alignment and function of the feet and legs.

Factors which may contribute to the development of Osgood Schlatter’s syndrome include:

  • Recent growth spurts
  • A period of increased sporting/training activity
  • Incorrect footwear choice
  • Muscle tightness/weakness
  • Incorrect training techniques
  • Poor Biomechanics of the lower limb and feet

Short term relief and care at home are:

Ice and rest to alleviate symptoms and avoid running and jumping to prevent painful flare ups.

Long term relief and care

After your child’s completed assessment, your paediatric podiatrist will advise you if treatment is advised and what recommendations for your child’s condition such as:

  • Orthotics: A temporary corrective orthotic is beneficial in reducing the symptoms, and for biomechanical reasons of an excessively pronated foot
  • Stretching: Advice on the quadriceps and hamstrings
  • How you train: Suggest changes to your training regime
  • Rehab: Setting a timeline for rehab and return to sporting activities

We would work closely with your coach/trainer in setting realistic goals for a return to sporting activities and monitoring changes to your training regime.

Treatment outcomes/ alleviation of symptoms/increased performance

Goals and outcomes are developed in consultation with the parent and child, and expectations for recovery are based on patient compliance.

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