Definition: Though it's one of the most common causes of knee pain in adolescents, it's not really a disease but rather an overuse injury. Although it can be quite painful, it will usually resolve within 12 to 24 months. Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is an inflammation of the bone, cartilage, and/or tendon at the top of the shinbone (tibia), where the tendon from the kneecap (patella) attaches. Most often only one knee is affected.

Function: The function of the bony protuberance of the shin bone (below the knee) is to provide a place for the attachment of the patella tendon (which comes from the thigh muscles and knee cap).
Mechanism of Injury

OSD is an overuse of the patella tendon causing stress to the attachment site. This leads to a 'bump' on the shin just below the knee.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Swelling and or tenderness on the shin bone just below the knee
  • Pain that worsens with exercise
  • Limping after exercise
  • Tightness of the muscles surrounding the knee

Causes

Teens increase their risk for OSD if they play sports involving running, twisting, and jumping, such as basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, tennis, figure skating, and gymnastics. Doctors disagree about the mechanics that cause the injury but agree that adolecent growth spurts, overuse and physical stress are involved.

Pedorthic Treatments

Custom made Orthotics can be an effective method to reduce your knee discomfort as they are designed to redistribute and load the foot in a different way in order to decrease stress on the knee structures. Pedorthists use interventions such as supporting your medial/inside arch to reduce internal rotation of the tibia/shin bone. Proper footwear is also pivotal to your recovery. Footwear that is properly fitted to encourage proper function of the shin bone may be helpful. Talk to a Foot by Foot Pedorthist about proper footwear choices for you.

Other Treatment

  • Resting, or avoiding activity
  • Physiotherapy for stretching of tight structures
  • Braces to disperse load at the patella and/or tendon
  • Knee pads

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