• Pod Co Podiatry

Hands, Knees and Osgood-Schlatter disease: Explaining knee pain in your child

Continuing on from Januarys Back to School newsletter we thought we would keep the talk on your kids and some of the injuries they may experience over the next 12 months of school and sport.

This month we discuss a front-of-the-knee injury called Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD).

What is it?

Typically affecting active 9-14 year olds, OSD describes pain around the front of the leg just below the kneecap or patella.  This is where the strong muscles of the thigh attach to the top of the lower leg bone or tibia.

During high levels of activity with the addition of muscle and bone growth, the thigh muscles pull continually on the attachment point and cause swelling, tenderness and pain.

It usually starts following periods of activity and is felt initially as a mild pain that can progress to more severe and continual pain.  

Activities such as running, squatting, jumping/leaping, kneeling and changes of direction are commonly associated with OSD.

How do you treat it?

  • Reduce the amount of activity - this will rest the muscle/tendon unit and allow healing to occur  

  • Ice can help during acute periods of inflammation and pain 

  • Quadriceps and hamstring stretching and strengthening – best prescribed by a professional such as your podiatrist, osteopath or physiotherapist

  • Knee braces or strapping can help while activities are undertaken

  • Orthoses are sometimes indicated if there is presence of leg or foot abnormalities

  • Symptoms can take 12-24 months to resolve

If you believe your child or someone you know might have Osgood-Schlatter disease, bring them in for an assessment.