Anterior knee pain is a common complaint among sportsmen. One of the main causes of anterior knee pain in younger athletes is a condition known as Osgood-Schlatter lesion.
This condition is extremely common in teenage boys with a high level of physical activity, generally occurring at the time of a growth spurt. Mainly associated with sports involving a lot of running and jumping e.g. basketball, soccer, gymnastics etc.
Examination reveals tenderness and pain over the tibial tuberosity (a small outgrowth on the shin bone where the patellar tendon attaches), with associated tightness of the quadriceps muscle. Excessive subtalar pronation (flat feet) may predispose the adolescent to the development of this condition.
The pain is mostly aggravated by exercise and thus the management of the condition requires the athlete to modify their activity levels i.e. the less activity they do, the less pain they will have. Osgood-Schlatter lesion is a self-limiting condition, which means with time it will resolve by itself but may take up to 2 years. This can be very frustrating for the athlete and parents especially if they do not understand the nature of the condition. In the long term the athlete may develop a thickening and prominence of the tibial tubercle which will present as a bump on their shin bone just below the knee.
When the athlete is suffering from pain the symptomatic management includes icing the region, electrotherapy, massaging and releasing the quadriceps muscle, stretching as well as correcting any subtalar pronation if present.
So if you are suffering from this condition head to your local physiotherapist for advise and treatment.
BY: Andrew Savvides
Knee injuries, Lower Limb injuries