Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is typically experienced in childhood and adolescence. When blood supply is limited, it can cause a part of the bone to separate from its correct position. If left untreated, the bone will begin to come loose and may even crack.
The knee is one of the joints commonly affected by osteochondritis dissecans. The condition usually impacts a joint in isolation, although multiple joints may be affected in some children. If your child is still growing when osteochondritis dissecans occurs, the condition may resolve without intervention.
Children who are fully grown may experience severe symptoms from osteochondritis dissecans. The potential for bone separation is greater, and there is a likelihood of the child suffering from loose bodies in the joint. These loose bodies can cause severe pain, damage to surrounding structures and become lodged in the working parts of the knee.
Surgery for Osteochondritis Dissecans
If segments of the bone become completely detached, surgery is required to repair damage. This may include creating new pathways to increase blood flow, securing the separated bone with internal fixation or bone grafts to replace the damaged area. Surgery is a last resort if conservative measures fail to provide pain relief or the bone is separated and floating around in the knee joint.
Crutches are used to provide support and help keep the knee stable. Physical therapy helps to restore strength and stability to the knee while your child is recovering from treatment. Dr. Nic Gay and Dr. Masi Reynolds encourage patient-guided treatment for osteochondritis dissecans. At Silicon Valley Orthopaedics, your child will play an active role in his or her recovery and rehabilitation.
Learn more about the effects of osteochondritis dissecans, treatment options and recovery times by booking an appointment at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics today.