Feb 9, 2023

Does your child complain of knee pain? Or do you notice your child limping after sports or play time? You may have heard the term ‘growing pains’ before but what exactly is it and what causes it? 🤔

One of the most common causes of knee pain in growing children and adolescents is called Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD). It is a condition that causes inflammation of the tibial tuberosity, which is located below the kneecap at the topmost portion of the shin bone. 🦵🏼

Children are not skeletally mature and hence their bones consist of a special area where the bone is still growing. This is known as growth plates, and are made of cartilage which later hardens into solid bone as they mature.

Whenever we bend and straighten the knee, the quadriceps muscle (front of thigh) pulls on the kneecap and patellar tendon, which then pulls on the tibial tuberosity. With too much activity or a sudden increase in activities, the repeated stress to the tibial tuberosity can irritate the growth plate.

This results in:
🔺Pain & swelling
🔺Tenderness to touch
🔺Reluctance to continue playing sport or running around

Activities that make it worse:
🚫Going uphill or stairs

Not to worry as the condition will improve and the pain will settle once the bones fuse together. This may take time however and symptoms may persist, so your child may require some adjustments till then.

🔹Reduce painful activities, cease sports if that is what your child prefers
🔹Icing or NSAIDs
🔹Offload the patellar tendon

How can physiotherapy help?
✅Proper assessment & diagnosis
✅Modalities to manage pain & swelling
✅Sports taping to offload tendon
✅Advice on appropriate load management & monitoring
✅Gentle exercises will be shown as appropriate for e.g. quads stretching & strengthening

Check in with our physiotherapists for more advice. 😊 Send us a DM or contact us at 82182905 / 62620970!📱

📝1. Osgood-Schlatter Disease. Osgood-Schlatter Disease | Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2022, January 7). Retrieved February 6, 2023, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/osgoodschlatter-disease
📝2. Disease (knee pain) - orthoinfo - aaos. OrthoInfo. (n.d.). Retrieved February 6, 2023, from https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/osgood-schlatter-disease-knee-pain/
📝3. Woon, C., MD, Team, O., & Dold, A. (n.d.). Osgood Schlatter’s Disease (Tibial Tubercle Apophysitis) - Knee & Sports - Orthobullets. https://www.orthobullets.com/knee-and-sports/3029/osgood-schlatters-disease-tibial-tubercle-apophysitis
📝4. Brukner, P. (2023). Peter Brukner ,Karim Khan’sClinical Sports Medicine Third Revised Edition (Sports Medicine Series) [Hardcover](2010) (3 edition). McGraw-Hill Book Company Australia.

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