osgood schlatters rehabilitation & treatment at the Physio Clinic Naas & Newbridge.


Patella Tendon Anatomy

The patellar ligament (also called the patella tendon) is a large strong ligament that runs from the top of the patella (kneecap) & runs down over the kneecap to insert into the tuberosity of the tibia (shin bone). The patella tendon is a continuation of the the quadriceps muscle. The quadriceps muscle consists of the vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus  rectus femoris.


What is Osgood Schlatters?

Osgood Schlatters is relatively common in teenagers who are very active in sports. It is most common during the Summer months in Ireland when the ground hardens & the load transferred to the knee tendons increase. This overuse syndrome causes inflammation of the insertion of the patellar tendon on the tibial tubercle. It can cause a painful bump just below the knee.  It is a traction apophysitis of the tibial tubercle resulting from repetitive microtrauma.


Symptoms of Osgood Schlatters

Osgood Schlatters normally presents as a painful lump under the knee cap of teenage boys. You may notice that the bone is more prominent than the less painful knee. The pain in the knee may appear after sport & dissipate while running in the early stages. As the condition progresses, pain may come on while running & eventually will last between training sessions & playing sport will become particularly challenging.

For some, the pain of Osgood Schlatter’s is quite mild, whereas in other cases the pain is more extreme and long-lasting. in most cases, the pain is present in one knee only or, if bilateral, it is generally a lot worse on one side. The pain may last until the athlete is finished their growth.

Causes of Osgood Schlatters 

Osgood Schlatters is an overload of the patella tendon (patella ligament). The combination of overload & rapid growth of bone combines to overload the extending patella tendon. The patella tendon is under greatest pressure during jumping & sprinting activities & so it is most commonly seen in sports such as basketball & soccer.

Treatment of Osgood Schlatters

The first step in addressing Osgood Schlatters is activity modification. This requires an analysis of the current activity levels & a reduction of total load to minimise knee pain & swelling. In most cases a reduction in sprinting & jumping activities is required. Physiotherapy interventions will look at addressing tightness & poor muscle control around the trunk and legs.

Rehabilitation of the lower limb muscles along with specific exercises to address movement patterns that may be creating overload at the knee joint is vital. This requires a specifically tailored rehabilitation programme based on analysis of the athlete & identification of potential flaws in their movement patterns. Other treatment measures include ice & stretching.

The difficult part is cutting back on activities that cause the symptoms. Continuing to load a knee that is already irritated & painful will only make symptoms worse & may require a more prolonged period of rest in order to settle down.

Key Points:
• Osgood Schlatters is an overuse injury that occurs in children & teenagers undergoing heavy training during a growth spurt
• Osgood-Schlatter gives rise to pain at the front of the knee & is often associated with a noticeable lump underneath the kneecap
• Osgood-Schlatter can be successfully treated by physiotherapy interventions along with specific exercises & activity modification.

To find out more, contact Naas Physio Clinic on:
(045) 874 682

or email us at info@physioclinic.ie


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