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Osgood-Schlatter Disease (also known as apophysitis of the tibial tubercle or OSD) is an inflammation of the patella tendon at the tibial tuberosity. It is characterised by a painful lump just below the knee and most often develops in young adolescents. The pain only continues during the growth phase and will most often be pain free in adult life. The condition is named after Robert Bayley Osgood (1873–1956), an American orthopaedic surgeon, and Carl B. Schlatter (1864–1934), a Swiss surgeon who described the condition independently in 1903. It can easily be seen on xray as shown below:


Fig. 1 Osgood-Schlatter Disease. Lateral radiograph shows fragmentation at the tibial tubercle (arrow) in a 12-year-old male with clinical symptoms indicative of Osgood-Schlatter Disease.

Treating adults with residual ‘lumps’ following Osgood-Schlatter disease is no different than treating any other bone spur.

Treating adolescents with Osgood-Schlatters is different. In 2008 Dr Roland Hamisultane, president of the ISMST (International Society Of Medical Shockwave Treatment) stated that radial shockwave (he describes as pressure wave) should not be used for Osgood-Schlatters (amongst other problems including pseudo arthritis, osteonecrosis of the femoral head, osteochondritis and ulcers). Today more recent literature has changed this picture.

More recently Lohrer et al. (2012) showed in 16 symptomatic knees, which had been resistant to other treatments, 75% of patients receiving radial shockwave hit 100 out of 100 points for recovery (75% got better). They found no side effects or long-term complications. They concluded that radial ESWT is a safe and promising treatment for adolescent athletes with recalcitrant Osgood-Schlatter disease.

Most recently, Gazya et al. (2014) clearly showed that radial ESWT (using the ShockMaster) is an effective modality to reduce pain in patients suffering with Osgood-Schlatter disease. They said it was more effective than interferential therapy and showed no side effects or complications.


If you would like to book your child in for Shockwave Therapy Please contact Physio Tullamore on 0579329111

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