Osgood schlatters disease is a knee condition affecting generally growing 12-14 year old children that highly active. It’s typically associated with pain at the front of the knee and a bony prominence can form on the top of the shin bone. The pain is due to inflammation at the growth plate in which the quadricep tendon attaches at the top of the tibia.

When kids are growing the tendon creates extra tension at the insertion which leads to pain and inflammation (See picture below).







  • Growth spurts: A bone grows faster than muscle therefore the muscle cannot maintain optimal length at the attachment point of the tendon. This creates a traction effect in where the tendon joins onto the bone.
  • Training load: This typically ramps up after school holidays and we see an increase in these types of conditions this time of year.
  • Muscle tightness: Tight quadriceps and hip flexors are often contributing factors.
  • Muscle strength imbalance: Poor quadricep strength and gluteal strength can increase the likelihood of suffering from osgood schlatters.
  • Gender: Unfortunately, boys get this more than girls!


  • Point tenderness at top of the tibia.
  • Prominence at top of tibia (Bony knob below knee).
  • Difficulty kneeling or sensitivity to tapping the knee.
  • Pain with running and jumping activities.
  • Dull ache after activity and sport.


Getting the correct diagnosis is key to make sure you’re treating the right condition and there is no involvement with the patellar tendon or knee cap issues.

Once we know what’s going on a combination of all these ideas can help manage your condition:

  • Soft tissue releases to take pressure off the bony prominence!
  • Taping techniques!
  • Anti-inflammatory ideas!
  • Stretching protocols!
  • Strengthening exercises!
  • Ice!

With the start of so many sporting seasons in the winter months that involve hopping, jumping and sprinting it’s a common problem we see in the clinic this time of year!

If you have any questions about your kid’s injury shoot us a message, give us a call on (02) 4751 9127 or book a session online!

Written by Pat Lincoln (Physiotherapist at The Physio Depot)


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