The Patella Tendon is formed by the Quadriceps Muscles at the front of the thigh, crosses over the Patella (Knee Cap) and attaches to the Tibia (shin bone). The Patella Tendon transmits force from the Quadriceps Muscles which straighten the knee.
In adolescents, what appears to be Patellar Tendon pain can be Osgood Schlatters Disease. These are two different pathologies and must be treated differently.
It is much more common in boys than girls and the typical age group is 12-15 years old. It results from excessive traction on the Patellar Tendon on the Tibial Tuberosity (upper shin bone). It usually occurs due to a combination of high levels of activity and a growth spurt.
Typical Osgood Schlatters Disease symptoms include pain on walking, running or sport, local swelling to the upper shin and tenderness to touch. Symptoms usually cease with rest.
A thorough History and Physical Examination by your Chartered Physiotherapist will determine the likelihood of Osgood Schlatters Disease. If the examination shows an obvious Osgood Schlatters Disease then a series of exercises and advice will be prescribed. These exercises will be progressive in nature to help the healing process.
MyPhysio’s thoughts on Osgood Schlatters Disease
Often the client and their parents are very concerned about this condition. The good news is that with careful management of activity and a series of exercises this can be eradicated in our experience in a short period of time.
If you write down what your child does on a weekly basis, it can be surprising how much exercise they are doing between GAA, soccer, athletics, PE, rugby etc. Often children are doing 8, 9 or even 10 sessions per week of exercise. For most this is not a problem but with Osgood Schlatters Disease activities will need to be modified in the short term and a gradual return to all activities will be resumed.
If you have any queries regarding Osgood Schlatters Disease, please ‘Ask the Expert’.