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Osteochondritis Dissecans of a Joint

Overview

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a condition in which a piece of bone or cartilage (or both) inside a joint loses blood supply and dies. It may be caused by injury or by overuse from an activity that repeatedly jams one bone end against another.

What are the symptoms?

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) may not cause any symptoms, or symptoms may begin suddenly, develop gradually, or come and go. The condition may be discovered by accident if an X-ray is taken for another reason.

Symptoms of OCD may include:

  • Pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Grating in the joint.
  • Decreased joint movement.
  • Locking of the joint.

Symptoms that begin suddenly may be caused by a piece of bone or cartilage that has broken loose and moved into the joint. Degenerative arthritis may develop in the area affected by OCD.

How is it treated?

Treatment for osteochondritis dissecans focuses on resting the joint to allow the cartilage and bone to heal and the swelling to decrease. The bone may take a full year to heal. Surgery may be necessary to remove or repair loose pieces of bone.

Credits

Current as of: March 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

 

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