Knee > Osgood-Schlatter Disease > Treatments

    Patellar Tendon Strap

Home Recovery

Wearing a patellar tendon strap, which is designed to reduce inflammation of the patellar tendon and keep the kneecap aligned correctly, can help in the treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease. A patellar tendon strap is worn around the leg just below the kneecap, and usually is worn during sports or physical activity. It can resemble a thick rubber band, or it can be made of cloth and fastened by Velcro straps. The strap comes in different sizes, and you can choose the one that fits the circumference of your leg. Sometimes, a patellar tendon strap is worn over a knee sleeve that covers the entire knee area. By providing compression to the area below the kneecap, the strap reduces pain around the top of the shinbone, where pain stemming from Osgood-Schlatter disease is centered, and helps elevate the kneecap slightly, relieving harmful pressure. Wearing a patella tendon strap will not restrict blood circulation to your lower leg. Some patellar tendon straps fasten above and below the knee, which can reduce the force of the thigh muscle (quadriceps) on the patellar tendon.


If you have had your knee immobilized in a brace or cast during treatment for Osgood-Schlatter disease, your rehabilitation is crucial to restoring leg strength and flexibility as well as preventing your condition from getting worse. Stretching is particularly important because what often happens during a growth spurt is that the quadriceps have not increased their flexibility in relation to the lengthening of the bone. Strengthening should focus on the quadriceps and hamstrings, and can include exercises such as straight-leg raises, wall slides, leg curls, and quadriceps contractions. These exercises can be done at home or under the supervision of a physical therapist. While doing these exercises, it is important to remember to go slowly and not to push yourself to the point where you feel pain. It is preferable to do more repetitions of each exercise rather than fewer repetitions with higher resistance. To reap the maximum benefit from these exercises, they should be performed regularly until you have stopped growing or until pain has subsided. Consult your physician if you have questions.


   Knee strengthening exercises: Kneecap (patella) injuries

Prevention [top]

It is probably unrealistic to expect to prevent Osgood-Schlatter disease, simply because it is related to natural growth spurts. But you can take steps to minimize its effects. Exercises that strengthen the quadriceps and hamstrings, such as straight-leg raises and leg curls, can prevent the condition from getting worse. Avoiding overuse is important, as is modifying the specific activity. In soccer, for instance, if you are taking all the free kicks, you may have to relinquish that role for a while. If you play an outside position, you could be moved to an inside position to lessen the amount of running required. If you are a gymnast who has developed Osgood-Schlatter disease from repetitive jumping, for example, you may have to modify or stop using dismounts in the early, acute phase of the disease. Occasionally, an athlete may have a foot problem that can contribute to Osgood-Schlatter disease. In this instance, custom-made shoe inserts (orthotics) may be effective in decreasing stress on the knee and lower leg. See your doctor for a complete evaluation.

Bracing and Immobilization
Patellar Tendon Strap
   Home Recovery
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications
Physical Therapy

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