The present-day conservative treatment algorithms of Osgood-Shlatter Disease (OSD) are often inadequate for young athletes because they require extremity immobilization and avoidance of sports, and hence the longer duration of rehabilitation. Therefore, the development of safe and efficacious treatment protocols for young athletes is of great practical importance.
The aim of the study
The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy and safety of the conservative treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease in young professional soccer players.
Materials and methods
Medical records of young soccer players from two different Russian soccer-academies from the period January 2016–July 2019 were analyzed in a retrospective cohort study. Trauma records of young soccer players aged 11–15 years were included in the analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics software, 23.0. Descriptive statistics tools were applied for the analysis.
A total of 280 soccer players were included in the study. The aged ranged between 11 and 15 years. Ten percent of players (n = 28, mean age 12.9 ± 1.3) were diagnosed with OSD during the observation period. The mean OSD treatment duration was 27.3 ± 13.9 days. Bilateral symptoms were observed in 42.9% of cases, and unilateral symptoms in 57.1%. In 53.6% of players, the first manifestation of OSD symptoms was observed during wintertime. All players were training on artificial turf playing fields. Conservative treatment without immobilization was applied to all patients. It included kinesiotherapy for quadriceps muscle lengthening and physiotherapy as well as gradual increase of physical activity. A total of 35.7% of players reported having discomfort upon resuming regular training, which caused some restrictions in exercise. However, the symptoms resolved spontaneously with time. Surgical treatment or complete avoidance of exercise was not used in any of the patients.
High incidence of OSD was revealed among young soccer players of the leading Russian soccer academies. The OSD most commonly occurred during wintertime. Conservative treatment of OSD—i.e., physiotherapy and kinesiotherapy—enabled disease-free resuming of sports activity for the majority of patients.