What is Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease, also known as tibial tubercle apophysitis, is a common cause of knee pain in adolescent children aged 10 to 18. It is caused by excess strain on the growth plate of the tibia from the patella tendon in the knee, leading to pain and inflammation.

The child or adolescent will usually complain of pain at the front of the knee just below the patella and often there is a noticeable swelling or lump in this area.

Does your child suffer from Osgood-Schlatter diesase?

Signs & symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease

The following signs or symptoms may indicate Osgood-Schlatter disease in a child:

  • Pain in one or both knees below the knee cap
  • There may be a noticeable lump or swelling in the region of pain below the knee cap
  • Symptoms are usually worse during and after activity
  • Running, jumping, kneeling or stairs will often exacerbate symptoms
  • In severe cases symptoms may cause the child to limp
Osgood-Schlatter Disease - Children's Podiatrist Melbourne

Causes of Osgood-Schlatter disease

Osgood-Schlatter disease is caused by excess strain on the growth plate of the tibia from the patella tendon, which attaches the knee cap to the tibia (leg bone). It occurs in teenagers and adolescents who are experiencing growth spurts and is more common in active and sporty children. Osgood-Schlatter disease will resolve once the child stops growing.

Factors that can increase strain on the growth plate or tibial tubercle include:

  • Sports or activities that involve running, jumping, or repetitive knee bending
  • Poor foot mechanics or flat feet
  • Poor footwear
  • Tight leg muscles

Flat feet or poor lower leg mechanics is often an overlooked factor in Osgood-Schlatter disease. Excess foot pronation (rolling inwards) causes excess internal rotation of the tibia, thereby increasing torque and strain on the knee, the patella tendon and the tibial tubercle growth plate, exacerbating Osgood-Schlatters symptoms.

Osgood Schlatter disease diagnosis

Osgood-Schlatter disease is easily diagnosed clinically by our Melbourne children’s podiatrists, who are experts in children’s lower leg and foot problems. Referral for x-rays are generally not required unless a more severe injury is suspected.

Podiatry treatment for Osgood-Schlatter disease

The children’s podiatrists at Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics are experts in children’s lower leg and foot problems including Osgood-Schlatter disease. As this condition will resolve once the tibia bone stops growing treatment is aimed at management and reducing symptoms, so the child can continue with sport and daily activities.

Treatment options at our Melbourne foot clinic include:

Orthotics can significantly help reduce Osgood-Schlatter symptoms in those children who have flat feet or poor biomechancis. Orthotics reduce excess foot pronation and improve lower leg mechanics. This reduces internal leg and knee rotation, resulting in less strain on the patella tendon and the tibial growth plate.

A children’s podiatrist can assess your child’s feet to see if they are a factor in Osgood-Schlatter disease knee pain.

Call us Melbourne Podiatrist

Does your child suffer from Osgood-Schlatter disease?

At our Melbourne foot clinic our children’s podiatrists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of children’s conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. This includes Osgood-Schlatter disease.

So if your child has Osgood-Schlatter disease or is complaining of knee pain book an appointment with one of our friendly children’s podiatrists today!