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Osteochondritis Dissecans Treatment

The bones in joints are protected by cartilage that allows them to move and slide without friction. In the knee and other major joints, healthy bone and cartilage are vital to allow the joints to function normally without pain or stiffness. Osteochondritis dissecans is a disease that can affect the bones and cartilage in major joints like the knees, usually impacting active adolescents, teens and young adults. Jonathan L. Glashow, MD orthopedic surgery and sports injury center offers osteochondritis dissecans treatment in Miami, FL.

What Causes Osteochondritis Dissecans?

Osteochondritis dissecans occurs when the blood supply is poor to the end of the bone underneath cartilage. In the knees, this usually occurs in the bottom of the femur, but it can happen in other joints like the hip, ankle or elbow. The exact cause of osteochondritis dissecans is not known but it is more common in youth that play sports or have a joint injury. Most people affected by this disease are between the ages of 10-20.

Symptoms of Osteochondritis Dissecans in the Knee

Osteochondritis dissecans cuts off the blood supply to the end of major bones, resulting in deterioration of the bone. The bone may become soft and other overlying cartilage may begin to break away, creating loose bodies in the knee. The symptoms include:

  • Pain and swelling in the knee
  • Popping sound or locking sensation when moving the knee
  • Stiffness in the knee
  • Weakness in the knee after activity
  • Restricted range of motion within the knee joint

Osteochondritis dissecans can be painful and it increases risks for future joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Treatment for osteochondritis dissecans is usually conservative. Reducing stress on the joint and performing physical therapy may be recommended. If pieces of bone or cartilage are causing joint dysfunction, surgery may be required to remove loose bodies in the joint.

If you have an adolescent or teen with symptoms of osteochondritis dissecans, treatment is available at Jonathan L. Glashow, MD orthopedic surgery and sports injury center. Contact our orthopedic team at our facility in the Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Miami, FL, area to schedule your appointment.

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