This is a stress injury to the bony attachment of the patellar tendon (see fig 1). It is caused by repeated stress on the growth plate of the bone from activities such as running, jumping and kicking. It usually occurs in active adolescents between the ages of 11 and 15 years and presents with pain and swelling over the front of the knee fig 2 below the knee cap, at the top of the tibia.
Is likely to consist of:
Activity Modification – This is designed to help unload and rest the affected area. Except in extreme cases complete rest is not usually required and a reduction in the volume or intensity of activity is all that is needed. In rare circumstances where the symptoms are severe a short period of immobilisation is required.
The general recommendation is that if the child has pain and limping that they discontinue their activities for the day. If they have pain and limping for 3 or more days they are to cease their athletic activity for a month and perform only stretching exercises.
Stretching Exercises – These are often recommended and are best prescribed by a Physiotherapist Technique Modification – Improving jumping or running technique can reduce stress through the patellar tendon and the apophysis Supportive Straps or Tape – Can reduce stress through the apophysis This varies. Most will control their symptoms over a 6 – 12 week period. In some the symptoms can last 12 months or so. It is important to realise that these symptoms will always resolve as the growth plate mature