Osgood-Schlatter lesion: juvenile anterior knee pain made easy!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”2131″ img_size=”large”][vc_column_text]Recently with the recent end of basketball and football season I’ve started hearing from a lot of my patients that their teenage and near teenage kids are complaining of intermittent knee pain after playing sport. I can count at least five of them that also told me that they think their kids are simply complaining for no reason…or perhaps so they can stay in and play Fortnite, it’s debatable. Anyway, once assessing many of these kids and young adults and chatting about their pain I’ve found that many of them were all presenting positive for a type of knee juvenile knee pain condition that needed and can benefit from physiotherapy treatment and management. That condition is called an Osgood-Schlatter lesion and diagnosis is made through a subjective history or background, and a physical assessment of the knee.

So firstly, what is it?

Osgood-Schlatter lesion is characterised by pain experienced by a young athlete or sport player in the front of the knee just below the level of the patella (kneecap). There is a large and powerful patellar tendon attached to the tibial tubercle. This allows the knee to extend with contraction of the quadriceps thigh muscles. For these active children and teenagers, periods of active growth in their skeletal system that coincides with periods of high physical activity can cause the patella tendon to pull at the bony attachment which is undergoing a period of growth. The growth plate below the surface of the bone softens and can then cause debilitating pain in the anterior knee when too much stress is placed on it.

How do I know if I or my child may have this condition?

According to the evidence, it is common for children progressing through puberty to experience Osgood-Schlatter lesions with boys aged 13-15, and girls aged 10-12, being at a higher risk. They will complain of pain in the front of the knee below the level of the kneecap and generally the pain comes on after stopping exercise not so much during, though they can have pain during exercise too.

How long will it last?

Osgood-Schlatter lesions are self-limiting. What that means in that the condition will settle in time by itself and when the period of rapid growth slows down. Generally this can take 3-6 months on average.

What Can I do?

Book in to see your physiotherapist. The reason physiotherapy helps is because during this time, the pain can be markedly reduced and the teenager’s quality of life is greatly improved. The time to recovery can also be reduced with treatment, however keep in mind that by playing sport the time that the pain hangs around is neither increased nor reduced.

At Enhance Physiotherapy we are dedicated to helping you or your child with Osgood-Schlatter lesions, reassuring them with sound education and management strategies to ensure that together with treatment you are getting the best patient care possible.

Take care! Jubilee

Jubilee works full time at our Mandurah Clinic. To book an appointment with Jubilee call 9583 5165 or simply book online.


Brukner and Khan’s Clinical Sports Medicine—Volume 1: Injuries, 5th Edition. (January 01, 2018). Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Pp 802 & 888.


How to stay or become motivated to exercise?

Correct me if I’m wrong but I think it safe to say that almost everyone has had those days where you can’t find the  motivation to do anything; whether its going to work, doing the house work or a common one – exercising.

In today’s day and age with every one being so busy with life, usually exercise is the first activity to be lost. I know personally there have been many times when I’ve gotten home from a busy day at work and have wanted to skip my daily exercise routine. Some days I have skipped it only to regret it later but on the days I push myself and dig deep I always feel so much better for it! But in saying this you should always listen to your body, so if you’re having a day where your body is too tired to exercise or mentally you feel too fatigued then maybe a rest day is for you (as long as this doesn’t happen everyday).

We all know how good exercise is for us and how good it can make us feel, so why should it be the first to go when life gets busy and tough. Exercise should be an essential part of life as it can help;

  • Reduce stress
  • Improve your mood
  • Help with weight loss or weight maintenance
  • Maintain strong healthy muscles and bones
  • Boost energy levels
  • Reduce the risk of chronic disease
  • Skin health
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Reduce chronic pain 

The list goes on… that’s why we as physiotherapists strive to motivate and empower all clients and individuals to participate in regular physical activity. Below I am going to provide some tips on how to achieve this!

Find the right exercise for you

Not everyone is going to enjoy the same exercise so it’s important that you find the right one for you. Exercise doesn’t have to be sport or running, it can be anything that elevates your heart rate. If you’re someone who hasn’t found the right one then why not go trial new sports, gyms or even classes/programs. Nowadays so many gyms and classes offer free trials before signing up, so it’s as easy as finding a place and going in to try it.

Exercise classes

One that I have found particularly handy for motivation is joining a class. If you have a a class, particularly ones that you need to book in for it holds you accountable to go. I personally also find that having someone tell me what to do means I don’t have to worry and think about what exercises to do; all I need to do is pick a class and rock up, it’s that simple!

At enhance we offer a range of classes and programs that are catered for all ages and levels of fitness;

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Enhanced living
  • One on one gym visits

Go first thing in the morning or first thing after work 

You’re either a morning person or you’re not. If you are a morning person then why not set your alarm slightly earlier and get up and go straight to the gym. This might mean having your clothes ready next to your bed, so that when that alarm goes off all you need to do is get up, put your clothes on and go!

For those who aren’t morning go getters (you’ll know who you are) then pack your exercise clothes and take them to work with you, that way when it’s time to knock off all you need to do is get changed and go. I know I’ve fallen into the trap of going home to get changed to exercise but have been distracted by house work, my dog and (especially) the couch and television. Why not eliminate those distractions and eliminate the temptation not to go and go straight there!

Find a buddy 

This is a great one, find a buddy that can hold you accountable and vice versa. The only tricky thing with this is the buddy needs to enjoy the same form of exercise as you and have a similar timetable to fit in the exercise with you.  As long as your buddy fits both criteria then it works a real treat!!

Put gym clothes on 

This one works for some but not for others and works sometimes but not always, so don’t let this be the only motivation tip you employ. When I say put gym clothes on, it’s as simple as that, go into your cupboard or drawers and pull out your favourite gym gear and let it motivate you to go and exercise!

I have found from personal experience that when I put my gym gear on it motivates me to go to the gym as I feel like I need to get the proper use out of them (not just wear them around the house and out to the shops, but actually sweat in them!)

Social team sport 

Social sports are a great way to get involved and have a regular commitment to a team and to exercise. Whether that’s starting your own team with a group of mates (not only are you exercising but setting a time to catchup every week) or joining a pre-existing team. Either way you go about it, team sports are such a good way to elevate your heart rate! I understand that not everyone is a athlete but that’s the beauty of it, social sports aren’t designed to be super competitive they are designed to allow everyone to have a go and more importantly to have fun! So whether you are an athlete or whether you’ve never played a sport in your life there’s always a social sport you can get involved in!

Some examples include; touch rugby, netball, indoor soccer, beach volleyball…

So next time your lacking the motivation to exercise try using one or even a few of these tips to get back into it and who knows maybe you’ll even enjoy it!

If you aren’t sure where to start or have pain or an injury preventing you from exercising come in to see how we can assist!


To book an appointment with Jess call us today or simply book online.