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  • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) of the knee is a common condition affecting growing children and adolescents

  • It is characterized by an injury of the bone under a piece of cartilage in the knee joint

  • OCD lesions are at risk of becoming unstable and dislodging into the joint if not treated properly

  • Younger children with OCD lesions have better outcomes and prognosis than older patients

  • 25% of OCD patients have lesions on both knees


  • While the pathogenesis is unclear, but common potential causes include blood supply problems, genetics, and possibly overuse


  • Pain and occasional swelling in the knee 

  • Oftentimes associated with mechanical symptoms like catching and popping

  • Pain is usually worse after activity but can also be present at rest


  • Treatment of knee OCD is dependent on multiple factors including patient age, size of lesion, and whether the OCD is stable or unstable

  • For small, stable OCDs in young children, treatment is often conservative as the likelihood of healing is high. Treatment consists of rest, avoiding repetitive jumping or load bearing, bracing or casting

  • For larger, unstable OCDs in older children, surgery is often recommended and consists of multiple options such as drilling to stimulate bone healing, OCD repair with a screw, or cartilage reconstruction procedures. 


  • The best way to prevent this condition from becoming unstable is to rest and avoid repetitive activities that overload the knee

OCD capture 1 .png
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