Osgood Schlatter Disease

Osgood Schlatter Disease is the most common cause of knee pain in adolescent athletes between the ages of 9 and 15. The condition typically occurs when a child has undergone a rapid growth spurt, whilst participating in a high volume of running or jumping based sports. Following an adolescent growth spurt the quadriceps muscles and the patellar tendon can become tight and pull more forcefully on the tibial tubercle (the bump at the top of the shin), causing inflammation and pain of the tibial tubercle and patellar tendon. Osgood Schlatters is particularly common in sports than involve a lot of running or jumping, such as netball, football, gymnastics and soccer.


• Pain over the front of the knee, which is worst with sport or activity
• Swelling of the tibial tubercle
• Tibial tubercle tender to touch
• Limping noticeable after exercise
• Symptoms improve with rest

Self Management

• Rest from aggravating sports or activities until you have seen your physiotherapist
• Apply an ice pack over the tibial tubercle regularly
• Avoid kneeling on the affected knee

Physiotherapy Management

Whilst there is evidence that Osgood Schlatter Disease is a self limiting condition, with the pain usually abating once the child has finished their growth spurt, this can take up to 2 years, and most young athletes do not want to miss 2 seasons of competition! Physiotherapy can help address the underlying musculoskeletal factors that have contributed to the condition such as tight muscles, poor core stability and incorrect sporting technique, which in turn can help with a faster return to sport. The physiotherapist will monitor the athlete’s progress, advise on a timely and gradual return to sport, and provide an ongoing home exercise program to help prevent the condition recurring.