Osteochondritis Dissecans: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 8/3/2020

Osteochondritis dissecans is a condition caused by a reduction in blood flow to areas of the bone and adjacent cartilage. This causes damage to the affected joints because the fragile cartilage may break off, resulting in cartilage pieces trapped within the joint space.

Signs and symptoms associated with osteochondritis dissecans include

  • pain,
  • swelling,
  • tenderness, and
  • weakness of the involved joints.

There may be a sensation of a joint popping or locking upon movement. Another associated symptom is a decreased range of motion in the affected joint.

Cause of osteochondritis dissecans

The cause of osteochondritis dissecans is poorly understood. It is possible that minor injuries or disturbances in growth of bones and cartilage may play a role in its development.

Other osteochondritis dissecans symptoms and signs

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Weakness of the Involved Joints


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.