Osteochondritis dissecans is a medical condition caused by bone under cartilage dying from lack of blood circulation.
Bone particles can dislodge to cause pain with joint movement. It can occur from an injury or months of high-impact activities. The condition can affect any joints on the body.
Symptoms may include swelling or tenderness around the affected area. Severe pain can be triggered during most physical activities. The joint can become locked in one position when loose fragments get caught in one position during activity.
Osteochondritis dissecans occurs in children and active adults participating in sports-related activities. Athletes should wear protective gear when overusing joints in sports to prevent problems from occurring. Strength training can help reduce the chances of injuring joints that can cause osteochondritis.
A physical exam with hands on the affected area by a physician can help him determine treatment options.
He will check the joint for swelling. He may ask you to move the limb through a range of motion to give him a better understanding of whether the joint can move freely. He will most likely order x-rays and other imaging tests to see how severe the damage is to the limb.
The doctor will recommend prescription medications to help with the pain. He may want to schedule physical therapy to strengthen muscles around the affected limb. Rest can be recommended initially with the aid of brace support devices to support the joint. Surgery might be recommended to remove loose fragments from the affected joint when the condition doesn’t improve. The type of surgery will only be determined after the extent of the damage is known.