Osteochondritis dissecans is a condition where bone underneath the cartilage tissue gradually loses vitality and dies due to lack of vascular supply. The damaged bone and cartilage can break loose, hindering joint mobility and causing a painful condition. The disorder is common among children and adolescents who undergo high impact activities that subject their bones to stress and damage.
Symptoms of osteochondritis dissecans
The common symptoms of osteochondritis dissecans are:
• Pain: Motions like walking up the stairs, playing sports or climbing activities triggers pain in this disease.
• Swelling and inflammation: The skin around the affected joint is tender and swollen.
• Joint locking: Due to fragments of damaged bone sticking in between the bones of the joint, bones may pop or stick in a single position during movement.
• Weakness and decreased mobility: Affected areas will feel weak and mobility will be reduced significantly.
Cause of Osteochondritis dissecans
The root cause of this disorder is yet to be elucidated. However, it is considered that reduced blood flow at the joint may result in repetitive trauma resulting in damage to the bone. Genetic factors may also play a part in osteochondritis dissecans making some people more susceptible to this disorder than others.
What to expect from your doctor?
A visit to an expert doctor like Phoenix’s best orthopedic surgeons, is important to treat osteochondritis dissecans. Your doctor will first ask you a number of questions which you must be prepared to answer. Here are some questions which you may be asked.
• When did your symptoms start?
• Do your joints lock during movement?
• How worse is your pain?
• Is there anything that improves your symptoms?
• Is there any history of injury to that joint?
• Are you involved in sports?
The doctor will then recommend you to undergo a few tests to confirm the diagnosis.
During the physical examination, doctor will press the affected joints to check for inflammation and tenderness. The doctor may also detect loose fragments of bone during such inspections.Further diagnosis will be confirmed by imaging tests like X-ray imaging, MRI and CT scans.
Treatment modules for osteochondritis dissecans
Conservative treatment modules for osteochondritis dissecans include:
• Physical therapy: Stretching and strengthening exercises may help stabilize the muscles of the joint.
• Medications: Pain medications like NSAID’s and muscle relaxants may be administered to reduce the pain. However, since most often children are the victims of osteochondritis dissecans, high dose pain medications are usually not preferred.
• Resting the joint: Activities like running, jumping or other sports exercises must be avoided. Doctor may suggest the use of a crutch if the injury is in the leg or wearing a splint, cast or brace to immobilize the joint and encourage healing.
If the symptoms of osteochondritis dissecans continue for months on end, the doctor may recommend surgery as the only method of cure. Surgery will attempt to remove bone fragments and damaged tissue from the affected region to prevent further damage to the area.
To know and learn more about osteoarthritis dissecans, contact phoenix’s best orthopedic surgeons. Only an expert in the field of orthopedics will be able to provide you with the best suggestions for treating the disorder.