Osgood Schlatter’s is an inflammation of the growth plate located at the top of the tibia (shinbone) called the tibial tuberosity. This is caused by the repetitive pulling of the patella ligament on the undeveloped tibial tuberosity. So, what does this mean exactly? In adolescence, the tibial tuberosity is mainly made of cartilage until around 16 years of age when the cartilage changes into bone. Before this change occurs, the area is more prone to injury because the cartilage isn’t as strong as bone. When the quadriceps muscle produces repetitive, high force contractions, it pulls on the patella ligament and as a result, pulls on the unfused tibial tuberosity causing inflammation and pain at this site.
People with Osgood Schlatter’s may experience:
Swelling at the front of the knee
Tenderness at the tibial tuberosity
A visibly enlarged bump at the tibial tuberosity
Pain when jumping, running and squatting
Who does it affect?
Osgood Schlatter’s affects 20% of athletic adolescents compared to 4.5% of non-athletic individuals of the same age. With a higher incidence rate occurring during the growth spurt period.
Boys 10-14 years old
Girls 8-13 years old
mainly affects children involved in sports that involve repetitive jumping, running and rapid changes in directions.
What causes it?
Excessively tight quadriceps
Poor landing and take-off technique
Rapid increase in training load
Poor knee, lower back and ankle biomechanics can also contribute the prevalence of Osgood Schlatter’s.
What can we do to help?
We can work on reducing the muscular tightness of the quadriceps via:
o Soft tissue massage
o Myofascial release
Address biomechanical issues in the lower back, knees, hips and ankles
Offer both Kinesio and rigid taping
Prescribe a rehabilitation program
Prescribe a preventative program