Osgood Schlatters & Sever’s Disease

These are very similar conditions affecting the knee and ankle and primarily occurs in adolescents who are physically active, especially during growth spurts. Indeed they were historically normalised by dismissing them as growing pains. Before a person has finished growing their bones remain soft, especially at the growth plates and where tendons are attached.

In Osgood Schlatters disease the patella tendon, at the front of the knee, is pulled hard at it’s insertion into the shin bone (tibia) causing inflammation and pain. Similarly the Achilles tendon is pulled hard at it’s insertion into the heel bone (calcaneum) with subsequent ¬†inflammation and pain known as Sever’s disease.

It is extremely important to get an accurate diagnosis and to rule out more sinister causes of pain.

Treatment is about managing the condition until growth has completed when the symptoms usually settle down. Stretching is important and it may be necessary to reduce the amount of impact activity undertaken. Bone pain can safely be treated with extracorporeal shockwave  therapy.

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