Osgood Schlatters Disease is a condition affecting the top of the shin bone and most prevalent in sporting males aged between 9 and 14. The condition itself originates from overuse and requires the individual to monitor/ reduce their activity to help manage the condition.
Diagnosis for Osgood Schlatters Disease
The condition is a type of traction apophysitis and affects the tibia tuberosity – the lump felt just under the kneecap. This prominent part is an apophyisis, or a part of bone where tendons and muscles attach. The thigh muscles, (quadriceps) are attached to this area.
As teenagers are still growing their bones are still soft and it is the repetitive element of undertaking sports which can have a negative effect through the contraction of the thigh muscles. In the event that a suitable amount of rest time is undertaken between activities then the tibia tuberosity can become swollen and painful.
Impact damage to the region can also have a negative impact resulting in swelling and potentially the onset of Osgood Schlatters. Some people can also suffer from an avulsion fracture, which is where the strong quadriceps actually cause the tibia tuberosity to separate from the shinbone.
Knee pain is the main symptom of the condition, both during activity and when the tibia tuberosity is touched.
Whilst deemed as self-limiting condition it can take over a year before the patient fully recovers. Refraining from any high impact sporting activity is advised however the condition may only rectify itself once the bones have fully matured around the age of 16.
Prior to resuming any sporting activity it may be advisable to seek professional advice so that preventative measures can be put in place such as stretching exercises and even the use of a knee support.
Medical practitioners typically recommend total rest as the best way of managing Osgood-Schlatters, which may be difficult considering the age and energy levels of those normally affected. Ice should also be used to help manage inflammation, which can also help to reduce pain.
A knee support may also offer benefits when active in applying compression to the affected region and offer a greater amount of stability. There are a variety of styles available, from a compressive sleeve to a strapped based support to a simple knee strap. The latter for example will reduce the force on the tibia tuberosity from the patella tendon.
Preventing the condition
The condition can be difficult to manage which is why preventative measures are easier than rehabilitation. Stretching before and after sport can help to reduce stiffness in the leg muscles, whilst younger individuals should refrain from too intensive training. Taking breaks in between sessions is also important to give the body time to recover, typically deemed at being between 1 and 2 days.
If you are unsure as the severity of a condition or the treatment options available to you then seek a professional diagnosis and speak with a medical professional.