Symmetry Blog

Osgood Schlatter Syndrome

Symmetry Physio - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What is this sore bump at the front oy my knee?

Osgood Schlatter's Syndrome 

What is it?

Specifically, OSS is a traction apophysitis of the tibial tubercle caused by the repetitive strain and chronic avulsion of the secondary ossification centre of the tibial tuberosity. Essentially, it is an overuse injury commonly caused by repetitive, high impact contractions of the quadriceps muscles during tibial tuberosity maturation. It may also develop following the adolescent growth spurt, whereby the femur bone grows at a faster rate than the quadriceps muscle, increasing the tensile forces over the tibial tuberosity.

Symptoms can include:
  • Localised tenderness, pain and swelling over the tibial tuberosity
  • The sore bump!!
  • Pain with bending the knee, going up/down stairs, squatting
  • General lower limb tightness, particularly of the quadriceps/hamstring/calf
  • Difficulty engaging in usual physical activity without pain.

Who is likely to get it?

OSS is typically developed in adolescents aged 10-15 years of age. Boys, physically active adolescents, and those engaging in high-performance programs have been shown to be more likely to develop OSS. Also, those engaging in high impact sports with repetitive jumping, bounding and sprinting have been shown to be at higher risk of developing the condition. These sports include:
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • AFL
  • Netball
  • Gymnastics
  • Athletics

Recovery time frames? Why see a Physio?

Symptoms for OSS can come and go for between 12-24 months depending on the severity of the condition. This has been shown to decrease with appropriate physiotherapy intervention, based on potential contributing factors which vary person to person. These might include:
  • Stretches
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Taping
  • Load management and activity modification strategies
  • Education

If not properly addressed and managed early symptoms can result in functional disability and limitation that can persist into adulthood.

Sean Towers
Symmetry Physiotherapy 
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