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Welcome, medical contents search April 25, 2013
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Osteochondritis Dissecans

more about Osteochondritis Dissecans

  • Osteochondritis dissecans is a disorder in which a piece of cartilage and subchondral bone separates from the surrounding bones to form a loose body.  Fragments of cartilage cause pain and instability of the joint.  The knee joint is most commonly affected.  Other common sites include the elbow and ankle joint.

  • Osteochondritis dissecans affects young people 10 to 20 years of age.  Although it is only one side that is affected, in some cases, it can affect both sides.

    1. The initial symptoms are mild pain after activity
    2. Recurrence of swelling in the knee joint is due to the effusion of the other joints
    3. Locking or giving way due to a loose body
    4. Limited range of motion
    5. Pain worsens with activity

  • The cause is unknown.  It is thought that fragment separation occurs as a result of a decreased blood supply to the affected bone and cartilages.  Repetitive trauma may contribute to the occurrence of ischemia or fragment separation.

  • The diagnosis is made by history, physical examination and an X-Ray test.  X-Rays show a bony fragment with defects to the articular surface of the surrounding bones.
  • An MRI scan is useful in making a treatment decision, because it provides information about the articular surface, fragment location and size.

  • The treatment depends on the fragment location, size and age of the patients.
  • Conservative treatment:

- Stable, small lesions are managed by activity modification and anti-inflammatory medications.  The patient should avoid sports activities for 6 to 12 weeks.

  • Surgical treatment

- If the lesion is large or the segment is separated to form a loose body, surgical treatment is required.

more about Osteochondritis Dissecans

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