Activity modification and knee strengthening for Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Review written by Dr Teddy Willsey info

Key Points

  1. Despite Osgood-Schlatter disease affecting 10% of adolescents, there is a void of clinical trials and high-quality literature on the topic. This paper is the first to look at the efficacy of education, strengthening and activity modification all in concert.
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Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) affects 1 in 10 adolescents, with traction apophysitis injuries accounting for the most common form of overuse injuries in this population (1). At this age of development, soft tissue is stronger than the unfused apophysis, or bone tubercle. OSD is primarily seen in active kids, with one study reporting an incidence four times higher for young female athletes who specialize in one sport (2).

Despite the high prevalence of OSD and remarkably long duration of symptoms, lasting up to 2 years in many cases, there has yet to be a trial assessing management of OSD through strengthening and activity modification. Previous research has investigated surgical management, injections, and typical recommendations of rest, ice, and stretching.

The purpose of this paper was to investigate the effect of a parent and child education intervention on activity modification and a knee strengthening exercise program designed specifically for adolescents with OSD.

Osgood-Schlatter disease affects 1 in 10 adolescents
Given the long-term prognosis for Osgood-Schlatter Disease, it is recommended that clinicians focus on educating patients and their parents about activity modification and the importance of home exercise.


51 adolescent participants were recruited via local schools and social media, and then screened and diagnosed via a clinical examination by a physical therapist. The intervention included 4 visits (parent and child) to the physical therapist over a 12-week period,

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