Osgood Schlatters and growth spurts

Osgood Schlatters

What is Osgood Schlatters?

Osgood Schlatters is a repetitive strain injury which occurs at the growth plate of the knee near the tibial tuberosity. This injury predominantly occurs in younger children around the age of 10-15 years and usually happens due to their growth spurts they go through, and less commonly can occur in adults. The strain is caused by tightness of the muscles, specifically from the quadriceps, which pulls on the patella.

When children go through growth spurts, the bone tends to grow quicker than the muscle and tendons which therefore means their flexibility is reduced. This therefore causes their pain which radiates under the patella at the top of the shin. In some cases, this can cause an avulsion at the site of injury.

The pain worsens with impact sports such as;

  • basketball
  • football
  • gymnastics
  • sprinters

How to manage Osgood Schlatters

Treatment consists of initial RICE-




E– Elevation

Ice will predominately help reduce the pain, especially post exercise where pain may worsen.

It is usually suggested that with the child’s activity levels, they reduce them for around 6-8 weeks to help let the area settle. But this is advisable.

There is lots of physical management that you can do as well;


Stretching is the most important of all management. The muscles surrounding the knee (hamstring/quads/calves) should be stretched to help decrease the pressure on the joint. The aim is to lengthen the muscles as much to help catch up with bone growth.


Patella taping to help de-load the tibial tuberosity is also advised during activity.

Get in touch if you need more help

If you’d like someone to have a look at the cause of the pain and recommend appropriate stretches for you or your child, please get in touch.

Sports therapy bookings