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Andrew Lavender

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Osteochondritis Dessicans (OCD)

What is Osteochondritis Dessicans (OCD)?

A blockage in a blood vessel in the end of the Thigh bone (Femur) causes a small area of the bone in the knee to die.


These normally show up on X-rays

MRI Scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scans) allow Mr Lavender to see how big the area of dead bone is and if the white gristle (Articular Cartilage) on the end of the bone has been damaged.


Problems caused

This may not cause any problems at all, but is only found on X-rays taken for another reason.

Pain is the usual problem.

Loose Body symptoms of feeling something move within the knee or the knee getting stuck (Locked) occur if the dead bone breaks off.



If the Osteochondritis Desicans (OCD) was only found by chance on an X-ray then it is best just to keep an eye on it as it will heal in 2 to 4 years.

If the OCD is painful this indicates that it is moving and is best fixed with an operation (Pinning of Osteochondritis Dessicans).

If the OCD has broken off and is floating free then if possible an operation to fix it back is best. If it cannot be fixed back then the Loose Body has to be removed. The hole that it leaves should be assessed (Arthroscopy of the Knee) and potentially filled, depending upon its size.

Information Sheet

For more information or to gain a better understanding of the condition, download the free PDF below:

To download the Osteochondritis Dessicans (OCD) information sheet, right click on the PDF and choose 'Save Link As...'

Osteochondritis Dessicans (OCD) Information Sheet

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