Pain at the attachment of the quadriceps tendon to the tibia can often be due to the condition known as Osgood-Schlatters Disease. This condition is most often noticed during a growth spurt early in the second decade of life.
There is a higher prevalence in boys but this may be due to a greater involvement in sport. It is characterised by:
- Pain that is dull, superficial and localised to the tendon attachment.
- Usually has a gradual onset but may be associated with a traumatic event.
- Tends to be aggravated by activities such as running, kneeling, kicking, squatting and jumping.
- The pain tends to linger for some time after activity and eases with rest.
- The area is usually tender to touch and pain can be elicited by resisting contraction of the quadriceps.
Osgood-Schlatters Disease. The bone is inflamed and broken up at the attachment of the patellar tendon to the shin bone.
As with all sporting conditions, correct diagnosis and treatment should be encouraged. The primary treatments for this condition are:
Stop the offending activities.
Ice applied after any pain-producing activity.
Gentle stretching of the quadriceps but not to the point of pain.
Supportive tapes or straps may be of assistance.
Other forms of physiotherapy such as ultrasound or electrotherapy may also be helpful.
It is also important to educate the player to their condition and the probability of a complete recovery.
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In adolescents bones are still maturing. With repeated overuse of a muscle, the point where the muscles’ tendon attaches onto the bone often becomes inflamed.
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