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Youth Soccer Injuries: Osgood Schlatters Syndrome.

Updated: Apr 18, 2022

As a child's body matures, their muscles and bones grow through phases of rapid growth. In Osgood's Schlatter's (OSG), the femur bone of the upper leg gets longer and in some cases the quadriceps muscle has a hard time keeping up with this rapid rate of growth.


As a result, the quadriceps muscle repetitively pulls or tractions on the patellar tendon (located at the front of the knee), and this increased tension on that tendon can cause localized irritation at the growth plate of the tibia (shin bone).


This repetitive strain causes inflammation, swelling, and commonly a painful “bump” at the site of the tibial tuberosity.


What you should know:


- Osgood Schlatters has a prevalence of 9.8% in boys and girls, aged between 12 and 15 with the main lifestyle associated factors being regular sport activity Lucenta et al (2010).


- Specialized youth athletes, commonly soccer players, experience this type of pain during sudden increases in training load.


- Great outcomes with OSG related symptoms as growth plate fuses, in later adolescent years



Management:

Calm things down and build back up: Osgood Schlatters is an overuse injury, temporary reduction in training load will reduce symptoms.


This will allow you to correct movement patterns and introduce strength based exercise to develop tissue capacity - loading the patella tendon when irritability has reduced. The use of isometrics early on is imperative as it enables patella tendon loading whilst providing an analgesic effect.


Quadricep flexibility: A looser quadriceps muscle will reduce the tension on the patella tendon and decrease traction forces on the tibial tuberosity.


Training and game day management - Taping: Tightly wrapping tape around the knee, over the patella tendon can act to decrease the tension on the tibial tuberosity and decrease pain during sport activity.

If you're experiencing any issues with football injuries such as Osgood's, get in touch with one of our Physiotherapists to help establish a management plan suited for you.



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