Osteochondritis Dissecans (cont.)

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How is osteochondritis dissecans diagnosed?

Osteochondritis dissecans can be suggested clinically by observing the lack of full range of motion with "locking" of the joint at a certain angle. It is at this angle that the loosened cartilage and bone is literally being "pinched" as the joint is attempting to move. Ultimately, osteochondritis dissecans is best diagnosed with imaging studies, such as magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI scan) or an arthrogram.

What is the treatment of osteochondritis dissecans?

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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.

What is the prognosis of osteochondritis dissecans?

Indicators of a worse prognosis or outcome include a large-sized lesion, a lesion on a weight-bearing area, and older age of the patient.

Can osteochondritis dissecans be prevented?

It is only possible to prevent osteochondritis dissecans by preventing trauma or injury to the affected joint.

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics


Humes, H. David, et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Internal Medicine. 4th Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/29/2014

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