February 3rd, 2012

Health N' Sports: Growth Spurts and Pain

Staff Report

Health N' Sports: Growth Spurts and Pain
photo courtesy of aclsolutions.com

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic shares insight

As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation. On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com

Osgood Schlatter Disease is an irritation of the patellar tendon at the attachment site on the tibia commonly resulting on a characteristic bump just below the kneecap. The condition usually occurs in active boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 16 and coincides with growth spurts.  The pain and swelling result from stress on the patellar tendon, which attaches the quadricep muscles on the front of the thigh to the tibia.  The resulting inflammation leads to excessive bone growth at the tibial attachment point resulting in a visible bump.  The condition may develop with or without trauma.  It often occurs in young athletes who participate in sports involving running, jumping, and cutting.


  • Painful lump just below the kneecap
  • Pain in the front of the knee with running, jumping, squatting, climbing and descending stairs
  • Tenderness to touch, especially to kneel
  • Pain when kicking the knee out against resistance


  • Rest: The condition is self-limiting in that if play becomes too painful, the athlete will have to sit out for a period of time.
  • Ice: The athlete should ice daily, particularly if they continue to play or exercise at all.  Over the counter anti-inflammatories are also helpful.
  • Compression: A knee sleeve with a compression pad can decrease stress on the tendon.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises for strength and flexibility of the quadriceps and surrounding muscles can minimize the time an athlete suffers from this condition.

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