Adolescent anterior knee pain can often be attributed to Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD). OSD typically causes pain and swelling below the kneecap. The pain usually gets worse with running and jumping activities. OSD can happen in one or both knees.
OSD commonly happens during the growth spurt of puberty. During a child's growth spurt, the bones, muscles, and tendons grow at different rates. In OSD, the tendon that connects the shinbone to the kneecap pulls on the growth plate at the top of the shinbone. Activities and sports cause this to happen over and over, which causes injury to the growth plate. This injury leads to the pain of OSD. It is more prevalent in adolescents who have a high level of activity.
OSD does not cause permanent damage; however, this condition sometimes leads to excess bone growth and produces a visible bump where the tendon attaches to the bone.
It may be necessary to reduce the load on the knee during the week so they are ready to go for the weekend.
This can be done by:
- reducing the number of training sessions a week
- decreasing the intensity of the training