OSGOOD SCHLATTER’S DISEASE (PATELLAR TENDONITIS)
Osgood-Schlatter disease (OS) is an overuse injury causing pain in the knee area and often a visible growth just below the kneecap to appear. OS occurs when there is irritation to the top, front portion of the shin bone (tibia) where the tendon attached to the kneecap (patella) meets the shin bone. This irritation at the attachment sit of bone and tendon is most often a consequence of excessive stress to the front of the knee during periods of rapid skeletal growth. Adolescents are most commonly affected by OS because they experience the greatest rate of skeletal growth. OS is most frequently experienced in adolescents who regularly participate in sports related activities. When too much stress is present (from rapid growth) and when the body is overworked (too much exercise or repetition), the top of the shin can become painful and swollen. As this condition progresses, the body’s response to bone stress can be an increase in bone production; an adolescent may begin to develop a boney growth that feels like a bump on the front of the upper shin. OS can start as mild soreness, but can progress to long-lasting pain and limited function, if not addressed early and appropriately. The condition can be effectively treated by a physical therapist.
With Osgood-Schlatter, you may experience:
- Gradually worsening pain below your knee, at the top of the shin bone.
- Pain that worsens with exercise.
- Swelling and tenderness at the top of the shin.
- A boney growth at the top of the shin.
- Loss of strength in the quadriceps muscle (connecting the hip to the knee).
- Increased tightness in the quadriceps muscle.
- Loss of range of motion in the knee.
- Discomfort with daily activities that use your knee, like kneeling, squatting, or walking up and down stairs.
Patellar tendinitis is comparable to Osgood Schlatter’s Disease but occurs in adults and is an injury to the tendon connecting your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone. The patellar tendon works with the muscles at the front of your thigh to extend your knee so you can kick, run and jump. Patellar tendinitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is most common in athletes whose sports involve frequent jumping, such as basketball and volleyball. However, people who don’t participate in jumping sports can get patellar tendinitis as well. For most people, treatment of patellar tendinitis begins with physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the knee.