Osteochondritis dissecans is a disorder that occurs in a joint. It happens when a section of cartilage and a small portion of the bone below it detaches from the bone’s end.
Osteochondritis dissecans most often occurs in children and young men, especially after a joint has been injured. Osteochondritis dissecans happens most often in the knee, but it can also occur in other body joints.
Suppose the loosened portion of the bone and the cartilage don’t move very far from where it detached. In that case, there may be no or very few symptoms of osteochondritis dissecans. The condition may heal on its own. In other cases, if the loosened piece gets stuck between parts of the joint that move, or if pain results and is persistent, surgery may be needed to repair the fracture.
Osteochondritis dissecans causes
What exactly causes osteochondritis dissecans is not known. It may occur due to decreased blood flow to the end of the affected bone resulting from repetitive trauma. The last is multiple, small injuries to the bone. These injuries may be minor and unrecognized, but they can injure the end of bones. Some people may also be predisposed to developing osteochondritis due to a possible genetic component.
Osteochondritis dissecans risk factors
Risk factors for developing osteochondritis dissecans may include the following:
- Sex: Osteochondritis dissecans are more likely to develop in men than in women.
- Participation in certain activities: People participating in particular sports involving throwing, jumping, and making quick changes in the direction the body moves are more likely to develop osteochondritis dissecans.
- Age: People between 10 and 20 years old are the most likely to develop osteochondritis. The average age of people when they develop this condition is 11 years old.