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Osteochondritis Dissecans

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Osteochondritis Dissecans

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) is referred to as an inflammatory response to the bone and cartilage of a joint causing tissue to become necrotic and may or may not involvement of fragmentation of said tissue. When referring to OCD of the elbow the most common side is the radial humorous articulating surface at the capitellum. Typically, small pieces of cartilage will break off and become loose bodies in the joint. These flakes eventually ossify and can cause further pain, ROM deficits and affect elbow function.


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OCD at the Elbow is may be cause bay an injury of compression, repetitive compression forces, or an occluded artery causing avascular necrosis. It is common among adolescent athletes. There are 4 stages of OCD:

Stage I: Cartilage becomes inflamed and thick but is stable
Stage II: Cartilage is interrupted but stable
Stage III: Cartilage is interrupted and unstable
Stage IV: Cartilage becomes a loose body


Crepitus described as clicking, or catching with tenderness over radiocapitllum. Decrease elbow extension may be present. Swelling may be present.

Conservative treatment be initiated rest, NSAIDS, ROM stretching, progressive strengtheningļƒ  surgical removal of loose fragments may be necessary if sxs do not resolve.

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