Osgood Schlatters

It's the start of soccer season and I've been getting athletes coming in with the diagnosis of Osgood Schlatters.  From a therapist stand point, this is an umbrella term for any one who has knee pain from the ages of 10-14. 

Osgood Schlatters is a condition where the inferior patellar tendon starts to come off of the tibial tuberosity.  This can be followed by the symptoms of redness in the area, swelling, and most notably a large bump in the area.  The gold standard to diagnose this problem is MRI, the second best is a radiograph (x-ray).

These symptoms are often treated with rest, ice, patellar tendon straps, knee braces, and in some extreme cases corticosteroids (which you already know my opinion on that, click here for the link).  But all of these interventions are band aid solutions. They aren't addressing the root problem.  The cause of this condition is usually due to poor hip, knee and ankle mechanics.  I find that once I clean up the athletes running mechanics and strengthen the lower limb, the problem goes away.  

But how do you know you have bad mechanics? As a parent/coach, you instinctively know that your athlete does not run efficiently.  We've all watched sprinters in track and field events.  I'm not saying that your athlete needs to look like Usain Bolt but, they need to have similar mechanics.  My other suggestion is to find a good therapist to assess the mechanics of your athlete.  You want to know whether this issue is due to a mobility problem or a training problem.  Knowing those simple things, can help make a plan for getting rid of this issue once and for all.


Dr. Blake Wu, BPHE, D.C,