Osteochondritis dissecans of the knee is a condition that is caused by a reduction of blood flow to the end of a bone within the knee joint. This condition occurs most often in adolescent males under the age of 25 and is a painful joint condition in which a piece of cartilage, along with a portion of the bone under it, comes loose from the end of a bone.
Osteochondritis dissecans can affect any joint in the body but the knee is the most commonly affected. Some individuals who have this condition may or may not experience symptoms. If the loosened cartilage and bone does not completely detach, with rest and limited activity, the fragment has the ability to naturally repair itself.
Read about myOsteochondritis Dissecans of the Knee
Injury:Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Knee
Surgery:Complex Knee Surgeon
In patients where the bone has completely detached, symptoms will be present and could continue to get worse.
Symptoms associated with osteochondritis dissecans of the knee include:
Young athletes are at risk for developing this knee condition. Sports that involve quick moves and fast changes in direction may increase the changes. Ongoing over-use, knee trauma, repetitive, unrecognized injuries and other episodes of hard falls could also damage the end of an affected bone.
Dr. LaPrade offers specialized treatment for osteochondritis dissecans of the knee. In order to properly diagnose this condition and plan the most affective course of treatment, he will order an x-ray and usually an MRI. X-rays will be needed so that Dr. LaPrade can determine if the patient is bow-legged or knock-kneed. The MRI will offer him the ability to examine the extent of the injury through detailed imaging of the joint. Treatment for osteochondritis dissecans will vary depending on the patient. If the MRI shows that the cartilage and bone have not completely detached, Dr. LaPrade will establish a protocol involving rest, the use of crutches, range of motion exercises, strengthening moves, and possibly anti-inflammatory medication. These are conservative measures for the treatment of osteochondritis dissecans of the knee that are taken and intended for the affected joint to restore normal function.
In patients where Dr. LaPrade recommends surgery, an arthroscopic surgical approach may be performed to drill into the dead bone or to remove the loose fragments and debris in the knee joint and reattach the bone. Dr. LaPrade may use a fresh donor cartilage allograft to complete this procedure in which case the patient will need a second surgery and be put on a bone donor list. A cartilage allograft is used to replace the bone and cartilage that has fallen off.
A very specific, detailed post-op protocol will be given to patients who undergo arthroscopic surgery for the treatment of osteochondritis dissecans. It is crucial that the patient work directly with rehab specialists and Dr. LaPrade in following this precise treatment plan. Patients will be advised to avoid putting weight on their foot for a minimum of 6 weeks. Depending on the severity of the injury and surgical repair, some patients will be told to modify their current activities (partaking in competitive or recreational sports). This is often the case when a cartilage transplant takes place.
For more information on osteochondritis dissecans of the knee and for further information on treatment options, please contact the Vail, Colorado office of Dr. Robert F. LaPrade at 970.479.5881.
181 West Meadow Drive, Suite 400Vail, CO 81657
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