Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a condition where a small portion of bone loses blood supply, then loosens and separates from the tissues that surround it. It involves cartilage in the joint and can cause long term symptoms, pain and disability if not diagnosed and treated properly. It is most commonly seen in the knee, but can also be found in the ankle and elbow.
There are many reasons why osteochondritis dissecans occurs. Repetitive trauma or stress that happens to the bone over time is considered the leading cause. However genetics, nutrition and abnormal anatomy also play a role.
Common symptoms related to osteochondritis dissecans are:
To determine if your child has osteochondritis dissecans, our specialists will perform a physical exam that includes flexibility tests, stress tests, muscle tests and gait analysis. These tests will help our specialized team better understand your child’s condition, assess range of motion and identify abnormalities that might occur in bone alignment or muscle function.
After a physical exam, our specialists may also order imaging tests such as an our specialists may order imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or computed tomography.
Possible non-surgical treatments your doctor may offer or recommend to treat your child’s osteochondritis dissecans include:
Our doctors and surgeons may recommend surgery if:
There are different surgical methods your doctor may use such as:
Optimum surgical treatment is individualized with discussion between the surgeon and patient/family. There are different surgical methods your doctor may discuss such as:
Common at-home treatment options for osteochondritis dissecans include:
After your child has had a condition like OCD, it’s normal to want to know how long the injury will take to heal and what you can expect.
Every child is unique, every injury is different. Your doctor will be able to give you guidelines as to when your child may be able to return to play. In general, the healing time for an osteochondritis dissecans is a minimum of 3 months and will depend on the location, stage, and size of the lesion and your child’s symptoms.