by ggargiulo, October 18, 2017
In our last blog, we explained how rapid changes during growth spurts can lead to a condition called Sever’s disease that leads to heel pain and other symptoms in growing children. Another condition that follows a similar course of is called Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD), a growth-related overuse injury that results in knee pain. Like Sever’s disease, OSD is a common problem, but our Jersey City physical therapists see it often and can effectively address the injury with a comprehensive treatment program.
OSD is an inflammation of the area just below the knee where the kneecap (patella) attaches to the shinbone (tibia). It occurs when there is increased stress placed on the bones where the tendons attach, which is usually the result of too much physical activity in children and adolescent athletes.
Just like Sever’s disease, OSD typically develops during growth spurts when bones, muscles, tendons and other structures are changing rapidly. The bones of children and adolescents contain a special area at their ends called the growth plate, which is where new tissue is made and bone growth occurs. Since they are not completely formed, growth plates are more susceptible to injury than other regions of the body. So when young, developing athletes push their bodies too hard, inflammation of growth plates near the knee can occur and result in OSD.
OSD is most frequently experienced in adolescents who regularly participate in sports with lots of running, jumping and/or rapid changes of direction, and the further they push their bodies, the greater the chance of OSD developing. Symptoms of OSD include pain below the patella and above the tibia that gets gradually worse, especially with exercise, swelling and tenderness at the top of the tibia, loss of strength and tightness in thigh muscles, and difficulty performing many activities that require the knee.
A typical OSD treatment program from our Jersey City physical therapists
Depending on its severity, OSD might sideline your child from his or her sport for an extended period of time, but help is on the way. Our Jersey City physical therapists see younger patients with OSD on a regular basis, and they can provide a comprehensive treatment program that reduces symptoms and helps your child to get back into action quickly and safely. A typical OSD treatment program will consist of the following:
- Prescription of a Cho-Pat knee brace
- Gentle stretching exercises for the quadriceps muscles
- Mild strengthening exercises for the muscles surrounding the knee
- Manual therapy
- Activity modification followed by sport-specific functional training
So if your child is suffering from knee pain that may be due to OSD, seeing our Jersey City physical therapists is the best choice you can make to get them back on the field, court or track in no time. Contact Strulowitz & Gargiulo Physical Therapy at 201-792-3840 to schedule an appointment at our flagship Jersey City clinic, the Jersey City Medical Center Outpatient Therapy Department, our Bayonne office or at Clara Maas Medical Center in Belleville, NJ, or click here for more information on OSD.