Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome

25 Mar 13 - 01:39 PM

Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome is particularly common among adolescents going through puberty who play team sports or take part in activities that involve a lot of jumping, running and quick directional changes. These motions put repetitive stress on the patellar tendon. Sports and activities where such moves are present are football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, ballet, gymnastics and figure skating.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic is commonly used to treat Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome. Before determining the best course of treatment, the chiropractor conducts a biomechanical assessment of the spine, the muscles and joints in the legs and the pelvic joints. A magnetic resonance imaging scan or X-ray may also be taken.

Children with a patella alta appear to be at higher risk for developing the Osgood-Schlatter condition, since the higher position of the patella increases the tension in the patellar tendon and at the tibial tuberosity, especially when forcing the knee into full extension. Some aspects of care for adolescents include:
  • Restricted activity: Jumping, sprinting, kicking, deep squats, and other activities that stress the tibial tendon are eliminated, while easy jogging is still encouraged. Immobilization is not recommended.
  • Ice Therapy: Frequent (hourly) ice massage and/or cold packs help reduce inflammation.
  • Cross Friction Massage: Stretches and loosens the muscles, while post-isometric relaxation (PIR) stretching relieves pain in the soft tissues.
  • Lower extremity stretching: Gentle, repeated, progressive stretches to improve the length and flexibility of the quadriceps, in particular; but also the hamstring and gastrocnemius muscles.
  • Lower extremity strengthening: Treatment focuses on exercises that strengthen the quadriceps, calf muscles and hamstring. This helps ease tension on the patellar tendon. Hamstring curls and straight-leg raises with resistance are appropriate, while squat and jump exercises should be eliminated.
  • Bracing and orthotic support: A strap or brace that provides support for the patellar tendon may be useful during athletic activities. Individually designed stabilizing orthotics, that help to reduce shock and excessive tibial motion, may allow a quicker return to sports, especially for patients with excessive pronation or supination. 

Because the knee can be sensitive for several years, while the adolescent goes through growth spurts, chiropractic care is used to alleviate discomfort after sports and other activities.
When the Osgood-Schlatter condition is not treated correctly, adult problems may arise. In these cases, a close examination of lower extremity biomechanics will usually find that several problems have developed. Adjustments & mobilizations for chronic foot and ankle fixations are often needed. Individually designed stabilizing orthotics may be necessary to deal with any excessive pronation, fixed supination, calcaneal eversion, and tibial rotation, and to absorb some of the shock of heel strike. When treated early, correctly and managed conservatively, this condition should have no long-lasting effects on sports participation.

Chiropractic care is an essential ingredient in treating Osgood-Schlatter for our patients. Please think of referring to us so that we can assist you in getting the best results possible for your family & friends.

Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome