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Osgood Schlatter Disease

MTM > Osgood Schlatter Disease


Osgood Schlatter disease is a pain that occurs below the knee joint at the attachment of the patella tendon. The bony attachment specifically is the tibial tuberosity. The scientific word for this is an apophysitis, indicating an inflammation at the attachment point.

The Quadriceps group is responsible for extending (straightening the knee), these muscles start at the hip/thigh and come down and cross the knee.

Pain is generally experienced on squatting, running, bending the knee all the way up and applying a forceful extension. Commonly the tibial tuberosity is very tender to touch.


Osgood Schlatter generally occurs during periods of rapid growth which is made worse by excessive running or jumping loads. Essentially it is an inflammation due to pulling of the tendon on the bone. This occurs due to a tight short quad muscle and a rapidly growing thigh bone. It is uncommon for fully grown adults to have this condition.

Generally Osgood Schlatters is a pin point pain presentation with an obvious swelling local to the tibial tuberosity.

Osgood Schlatters occasionally gets better with rest however good evidence suggests it improves really well with expert Physiotherapy intervention

Treatment can include any of the following:

  • Soft tissue release the quadriceps and iliotibial band, either in the form of massage or dry needling to improve mobility to the muscle group
  • Ice to the painful area to reduce inflammation
  • Home mobility program, focusing on utilizing the foam roller as sometimes stretching can irritate the knee
  • Your physiotherapist will modify your load as needed to ensure that the appropriate rest is given to the knee
  • As the inflammation settles, a strengthening program to the hip and knee will be prescribed to ensure that there is no flare up or repeat injury
  • At end stage rehab your physiotherapist may recommend Pilates or gym based rehabilitation. This is dependent on your level of activity and what you primarily use your knee for.