Children and Sports Podiatry

Growth Plate Knee Pain: Osgood Schlatter’s Disease

Osgood Schlatter’s Disease presents as knee pain in active teenagers. It is pain which is felt in the lower aspect of the knee. Poor hip control and poor foot posture can contribute to growth plate pain in the knee.

If your child does a lot of sport which requires a lot of running and jumping they may be susceptible to Osgood Schlatter’s Disease.

What is “Osgood Schlatter’s Disease”?

The growth plate is situated on the long bone on the upper leg (tibia) which is still partly cartilaginous. The common patella tendon attaches to this growth plate. Acute knee pain in children can be produced by the inflammation and pull of the tendon on the growth plate. It is common to get this pain after sporting activity.

What can I do if my child has knee pain?

Inspire podiatrists are the Northside Sports Podiatrist and Children’s Podiatrist of choice. We take the time to do a full check on your child’s knee pain but we go beyond just the site of pain. It is important that your child is seen by an expert who is experienced in dealing with gait analysis in children. Inspire podiatry takes the time to look at your child’s foot posture, hip strength control and alignment and flexibility to know how to ease their knee pain.

It’s important that you see a podiatrist who deals with a lot of children or young adults. The reason for this is that there are many normal developmental milestones in a child’s foot health life which may not need intervention. However, if they are getting pain early treatment and detection of rotational issues in the foot and leg can allow young adults to continue with their sport and be free from foot pain and knee pain.

Pain under the knee cap

What can cause pain under the knee cap?

Children can get pain under their knee cap. This can happen when the muscles around the knee weaken which can cause a mal-tracking of the position of the knee cap where it sits on the knee. Other causes are if the child has poor foot posture alignment such as flat feet which cause rotational forces on the leg, which affect the knee cap position. The growth plates can be weaker than the surrounding bone and get irritated and inflamed causing child knee pain.

Can knee pain be growing pains in a teenager?

Yes, sudden growth spurts can cause mal-tracking of the knee cap due to tightening of the thigh muscles or hamstring muscles. This can aggravate the growth centres in the knee causing inflammation and pain in the child’s knee.

How we Treat

Knee pain in teenagers and children. Initially treatment is specifically aimed at reducing the load on the growth plate and healing the tendon tissue. Shockwave therapy is designed to reduce pain and keep your child in their sport. We look to teach a parent how to use kinesiotape to assist with supporting the painful knee. We may provide your child with foot inserts to correct their flat foot or balance a leg length difference as a result of a growth spurt. Flexibility of the hamstring and quadricep muscles is also an important factor in reducing kids knee pain.


We will also take the time to check that your child isn’t experiencing any other foot health conditions such as;