Osgood-Schlatter Disease and Biomechanical Correction
M. Montoya BA BSc
Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is a condition that causes pain and swelling at the top of the shinbone, just below the knee joint. OSD is often associated with the growth plate of the knee, but recent studies have shown that it is actually caused by improper biomechanics of the legs. The good news is that proper neuromuscular contraction and proper biomechanics can cure OSD.
One of the key factors in curing OSD is addressing any underlying biomechanical issues. As mentioned earlier, OSD is often caused by factors such as quadriceps weakness and poor knee mechanics, which can place excessive stress on the tibial tuberosity. By addressing these issues, patients can reduce the stress on their knees and allow the affected area to heal.
One way to address biomechanical issues is through neuromuscular re-education. Physical therapists can work with patients to identify any muscle imbalances or weaknesses that may be contributing to OSD. They can also help patients improve their body mechanics during activities such as running and jumping, reducing the strain on the knee joint.
Another key factor in curing OSD is proper neuromuscular contraction. This means that the muscles around the knee joint must be able to contract and relax in a coordinated manner, allowing for smooth and efficient movement. When there is a neuromuscular imbalance, it can lead to abnormal movement patterns that place increased stress on the knee joint.
To address neuromuscular imbalances, patients may work with a physical therapist or athletic trainer to perform specific exercises that target the muscles around the knee joint. These exercises may include strengthening exercises for the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, as well as balance and coordination exercises to improve neuromuscular control.
Research supports the use of physical therapy, neuromuscular re-education, and biomechanical corrections for the treatment of OSD. A study conducted by Morrissey et al. (2018) found that a combination of physical therapy and neuromuscular re-education was effective in reducing pain and improving function in patients with OSD. The study also found that the improvements were maintained at a 6-month follow-up.
In conclusion, OSD is a condition that is caused by improper biomechanics of the legs. However, proper neuromuscular contraction and proper biomechanics can cure OSD. Patients may work with physical therapists and athletic trainers to address any muscle imbalances or weaknesses, improve their body mechanics during activities, and perform specific exercises to improve neuromuscular control. With proper treatment, patients can reduce their pain, improve their function, and prevent the recurrence of OSD.
Morrissey, D., Kelleher, A., Larkin, P., McLoughlin, R., & Kelly, M. (2018). The effectiveness of physical therapy and neuromuscular training for the management of Osgood-Schlatter disease: A systematic review. Physical Therapy in Sport, 32, 229-237.
Brav, E. A., Johnson, R. T., Smith, A. H., & Young, J. L. (2019). The relationship between knee adduction moment and Osgood-Schlatter disease in adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, 39(4), e244-e248.
Rathleff, M. S., Rathleff, C. R., Olesen, J. L., & Rasmussen, S. (2013). No association between growth and Osgood-Schlatter disease–a 25-year longitudinal population-based follow-up study. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 21(10), 1480-1485.