What is the actual cause of Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease and the other sister apophysitis conditions such as Sever’s disease and Sinding-Larsen-Johansen disease?
Jenny Strickland has embarked on new research to try and find out.
These are common overuse conditions that affect young athletes during their secondary growth spurts – typically during their early adolescence. They are incredibly debilitating and can end many a sporting career As yet no-one has discovered the cause although there have been many well-founded theories based on observations. It seems that the children most likely to be affected are very active and/or rapidly growing. As part of her study into understanding Osgood-Schlatters and the other apophysitis conditions, Jenny has started a research study into growth rates and changes to muscle flexibility in academy footballers. It is hoped that by tracking a large cohort of athletes with a high intensity of training and ballistic activity (jumping, kicking and sprinting), Jenny and the academy physiotherapists can document which athletes develop OSD or Sever’s disease. “We can hopefully then track back and see if there are any common factors that could be used to predict which athletes are vulnerable and maybe prevent these conditions from happening in the first place.”
Jenny has received University Ethical approval for a pilot study with a large London professional football
club, and hopes it will lead to a longer trial over 2 years tracking the growth of over 60 academy boys aged
“I am thrilled to be able to instigate a proper study into this poorly researched area. If we can identify the
cause(s) of these apophysitis conditions then we should be able to prevent them”.
And that, of course, will be of benefit to hundreds of thousands of young athletes from around the world – truly ‘making a difference’.