Osteochondritis dissecans

General or Other | - Others | Osteochondritis dissecans (Disease)


Osteochondritis Dissecans, also known as OCD or OD occurs when a fragment of bone in a joint separates from the rest of the bone because its blood supply was faulty - it was not getting enough blood to keep it alive. In other words OCD refers to a focal area of subchondral bone that undergoes necrosis. Osteochondritis dissecans most often occurs in the knees, but may also occur in other joints, including elbows, ankles, shoulders and hips. There are two main types of OCD: the adult form, which occurs after the physis closes, and the juvenile form, which occurs in patients with an open epiphyseal plate.

The signs and symptoms of osteochondritis dissecans may include: the joint catches and locks during movement, the affected joint loses its range of movement, crepitus - when moving the joint makes a grating, cracking or popping sound, tenderness in the affected area, joint feels weak, limping, effusion - abnormal collection of fluid in the joint area (swelling) pain, which is usually more severe after physical activity, stiffness after a period of inactivity.

Causes and Risk factors

The causes of OCD are: ischemia, genes and repeated stress to the bone. The overlying cartilage remains intact to variable degrees, receiving nourishment from the synovial fluid. As the necrotic bone is resorbed, the cartilage loses its supporting structure. Subsequently, the bony fragment may be displaced into the joint space.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There is no cure as such, but the condition can be treated by a variety of means depending on the size and location of the lesion as well as the age of the patient and the degree of symptoms. Arthroscopic surgery is a procedure that is frequently used as a treatment to remove the loose cartilage and bone tissue from the joint.

Sometimes, especially in the very young (juvenile) form, osteochondritis dissecans can spontaneously correct itself. ...