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What Is Dissecans Osteochondritis? Symptoms and Causes

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Dissecans osteochondritis is a rare diagnosis in patients of all ages. The condition results from the abnormal separation of cartilage from the bone in the joint and can lead to severe pain, swelling, and limited mobility.

In the United States, the overall prevalence of osteochondritis dissecans is not known. However, in the femoral condyles, OCD has a majority of approximately 6 cases per 10,000 men and 3 cases per 10,000 women. OCD occurs in the knee 75% of the time, the elbow 6% of the time, and the ankle 4% of the time.

If you or a loved one are suffering from dissecans osteochondritis, it is vital to seek treatment as soon as possible. Several treatment options are available that can help reduce pain and restore function to the affected joint.


What Are the Types Of Osteochondritis?

Osteochondritis has many types, each with different symptoms and treatment options. Some of the more common types include:

  • Osteochondritis dissecans: This type affects the joints, most commonly the knee, elbow, or ankle. It causes pain, stiffness, and deformity.
  • Knee osteochondritis: This type affects the knee joint and causes pain and stiffness. It can lead to deformity if left untreated.
  • Elbow osteochondritis: This type affects the elbow joint and causes pain, weakness, and deformity.
  • Ankle osteochondritis dissecans: This type affects the ankle joint and causes pain, swelling, and deformity.
  • Hip osteochondritis: It causes all the same pain and other symptoms as the above diseases.


Symptoms of Dissecans Osteochondritis

Symptoms of dissecans osteochondritis

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a condition resulting from losing blood supply to the bone. This causes the bone and cartilage to break down. OCD usually affects the knee but can also occur in the elbow, ankle, and shoulder.

Symptoms of osteochondritis dissecans include:

  • Bone pain: This is the most common symptom and is typically worse with activity. The pain may be dull or sharp and may radiate from the joint.
  • Stiffness: The joint may feel stiff and difficult to move.
  • Locking: The joint may lock or pain when trying to bend or straighten it, for example, the knee when you are walking.
  • Instability: The joint may feel like it is giving way.

If you have any of these symptoms, visit your doctor. They can perform tests to diagnose OCD. These tests may include X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans.


Causes of Osteochondritis Dissecans

OCD is caused by the loss of blood supply to the bone. This can happen for many reasons, including:

Causes of osteochondritis dissecans include:

  • Trauma: A blow to the affected joint can disrupt blood flow to the cartilage and lead to OD.
  • Overuse: Repeated stress on the joints, such as sports, can also disrupt blood flow to the cartilage and lead to OD.
  • Anatomical abnormalities: Abnormalities in the shape of the bones or joints can put extra stress on the cartilage and lead to OD.

Osteochondrosis has no single, known cause.


Common factors include stress to the bone, reduced blood supply to the affected area, and trauma to the bone. Osteochondroses can also occur as a result of athletic activity and sports injuries.

Osteochondrosis is almost exclusively found in children and teenagers ages 20. Children who engage in sports are more likely to develop osteochondroses. It’s more common in boys, which may be because boys are at higher risk for injuries than girls.


Risk Factors of Dissecans Osteochondritis

In this block, we will look at the cases in which people can develop this disease.

The following factors may increase your risk of developing OCD:

  • Age: OD is more common in adolescents and young adults.
  • Gender: OD is more common in boys than girls.
  • Joint abnormalities: Abnormalities in the shape of the affected joint can increase the risk of developing OD.
  • Family history: Having a family member with OD increases your risk of developing the condition.

Therefore, if you are involved in professional sports, you should stretch your limbs more often, warm them up a lot before training, and properly care for them. In case of an injury, it is your responsibility to provide the correct treatment for the injured limb so that you do not experience further bone problems. 


Possible Disease Complications 

A medical complication is an adverse outcome of a disease, health condition, or treatment. Complications can adversely affect the prognosis or development of the disease. Among the osteochondritis complications there are:

  • Arthritis: The loss of cartilage can lead to arthritis in the affected joint.
  • Loose body formation: Dead cartilage can break away from the bone and float around in the joint, causing bone pain and inflammation.
  • Joint deformity: The loss of cartilage can cause the bones in the joint to rub against each other, leading to deformity.

Complications can significantly interfere with a healthy and happy life, so they should also be treated. So, to get the right and practical help, you should always consult a doctor. Only a professional doctor can make a correct diagnosis and prescribe appropriate medications.


How to Prevent Osteochondritis Dissecans Ankle? 

To prevent this disease, a person must take several necessary steps. These measures are most often associated with the fact that your limb will be limited in movement and unable to function fully for a specific time. In addition, it also includes stretching and other exercises to improve the functioning of your joints. Among the popular methods there are:

  • Wearing protective gear for preventing OCD: Wearing knee pads, elbow pads, or other protective equipment can help prevent joint trauma.
  • Avoiding overuse: Taking breaks during activities and avoiding repetitive motions can help to prevent overuse injuries.
  • Strengthening muscles: Exercising to strengthen the muscles around the joints can help to support them and prevent injury.


N.B. Stretching and similar measures are very useful for those involved in weightlifting or other sports. If you train different muscle groups on different days, it is best to stretch for an hour or 40 minutes during your rest day. If you are engaged in the “full body” complex, you should warm up your joints before each workout and only then start doing sport.


This approach will allow you to maintain the integrity of your joints for many years and give you the chance to progress in your sport. Besides this, stretching is also beneficial for people who prefer an inactive lifestyle and don’t want to get OCD lesions.


How to Treat Dissecans Osteochondritis

Treatment of dissecans osteochondritis

The most critical step in any illness is therapy. Only due to appropriate treatment and diagnosis can you recover and feel better. Among the common approaches there are:

  • Rest: Avoiding activities that stress the affected joint can help prevent other OCD lesions.
  • Ice: Applying ice to the affected joint can help to reduce pain and swelling. This procedure is similar to a situation when you get your limb punched and need to relieve the pain.
  • Physical therapy: Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles around the affected joint can help to support it and improve the range of motion. To prevent this disease, you should do some exercises every day.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove dead cartilage or to fuse the bones in the joint together.

Don’t be afraid of doctors; consult your therapist to take the appropriate steps to get well.


Diagnosis of Dissecans Osteochondritis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They will also do a physical exam, including an evaluation of the affected joint.

Imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, may be ordered to evaluate the affected joint.


Bottom Line 

As you can see, osteochondritis is a rather severe disease that should be treated or prevented. Although its frequency is not as high, this disease can still strongly impact your life.

Prevention is not something difficult to do. And the treatment is not very complicated but can take a lot of time. The most important thing is to choose the proper treatment and preventive measures. And only highly qualified doctors in the field of neurology can do this. 

For professional assistance, please call this number 214-619-1910 or use this feedback button. You can fulfill a personal form here if you are a new patient. After you contact us, our managers will provide all the answers to your questions and provide all the necessary instructions for obtaining medical assistance.

Remember that self-care can be dangerous because you don’t know all the human body’s nuances. It’s better to seek help from an experienced team and be happy.



  • Can osteochondritis dissecans be cured?

Osteochondritis dissecans therapy seeks to restore normal joint function, ease discomfort, and prevent the likelihood of osteoarthritis. There is no single therapy that is effective for everyone. Bone flaws in children’s bones that are still developing mend with rest and care.

  • What happens if osteochondritis dissecans are left untreated?

If osteochondritis dissecans is not treated, it can cause cartilage destruction in the joint and loose bone pieces and cartilage to break into the joint. Osteochondritis dissecans, if left untreated, can progress to arthritis. Osteochondritis dissecans most commonly affects the knee, ankle, and elbow joints.

  • How do you get rid of osteochondritis dissecans?

By following two approaches:

  • Rest your joints. If you have injured your knee, avoid activities that stress your joints, such as jumping or running. 
  • Physiotherapy. It includes stretching, range of motion, and strengthening exercises for the muscles that support the affected joint.


  • Who can have osteochondritis?

Osteochondritis dissecans are more frequent in children and teenagers aged 10 to 20 who are very active in sports.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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