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Osteochondritis Dissecans

What is osteochondritis dissecans?

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a condition in which a piece of bone or cartilage (or both) inside a joint loses blood supply and dies.

  • Symptoms

    What are the symptoms of osteochondritis dissecans?

    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.

  • Treatment

    How is osteochondritis dissecans 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.


    Copyrighted material adapted with permission from Healthwise, Incorporated. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.