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How Common Is Osteochondritis Dissecans Or Is It A Rare Disease?

Osteochondritis Dissecans categorizes a condition of joints, where bones present below the cartilage dies because of lack in enough blood flow. Both the cartilage and the bone, later on, break to become loose and thereby, cause pain. In some cases, Osteochondritis Dissecans hinders the motion of various joints.

Osteochondritis Dissecans takes place mainly in adolescents and children. It causes symptoms either after joint injuries or many months of exercises and high-impact types of activities. Especially, Osteochondritis Dissecans symptoms take place after you involve in running and jumping for many months. The condition primarily takes place in the knee area, but it also takes place in other joints, including the ankles and elbows.

Doctors have staged the problem of Osteochondritis Dissecans according to the specific injury size. Accordingly, they check complete or partial detachment of the fragment or consistency in its position. If the loose cartilage piece and the bone remain in their place, you may not experience any symptom or only a few of the symptoms. The injury associated with joints and cartilage heals on their own in the case of young children, as they have developing bones.(1)

How Common Is Osteochondritis Dissecans Or Is It A Rare Disease?

Osteochondritis Dissecans is a rare type of bone disease. This is because; Osteochondritis Dissecans characterizes acquired type of idiopathic necrotic lesions. These lesions have relations to sub-chondral bone based on the formation of sequestrums. Moreover, lesions belonging to sub-chondral bones detach to create various loose bodies within the joints. Osteochondritis Dissecans affects the joints of one’s ankle, knee, and elbow while leading to functional limitations, pain, and secondary type of osteoarthritis.(3)

Even though the disease of Osteochondritis Dissecans is a rare one, it commonly takes place in children from 10years to 20years. In most of the cases, the exact cause remains unknown among both doctors and physical therapists. On the other side, in rare cases, the condition affects multiple members in a single-family or causes Familial Osteochondritis Dissecans. In the case of familial Osteochondritis Dissecans, the problem takes place because of certain mutations or changes in the ACAN gene and remains present in an inherited form in the autosomal dominant pattern.(4)

Familial type of Osteochondritis Dissecans has a characteristic feature i.e. the problem leads to lesions i.e. bone damage areas caused due to cartilage detachment. Moreover, the condition causes detachment of an underlying bone from its end at a particular joint. People suffering from Osteochondritis Dissecans often develop multiple lesions to affect different joints, especially the hips, knees, ankles, and elbows. The lesion also causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joint. The affected joint even feels as locking or catching at the time of movement. Another major feature of the familial type of Osteochondritis Dissecans is that it involves short stature and joint disorder development i.e. osteoarthritis among kids during their early age. Osteoarthritis involves the underlying bone and the joint cartilage breakdown. It even causes stiffness and pain, while restricts the movement of various joints.(5)

Symptoms Of Osteochondritis Dissecans

Osteochondritis Dissecans usually do not cause any symptom during its early stage i.e. when the bone does not separate from the cartilage. However, as the symptoms start taking place, you will notice swelling, pain, popping sound, tenderness, weakness, locking sensation and reduced motion range, and so on. You may even notice the worsening of symptoms after you perform any high intensive activity, like jumping or running.(2)


To conclude, we should say that the problem of Osteochondritis Dissecans, including the Familial Osteochondritis Dissecans, is a rare disease. However, both problems are common in children from 10years to 20years age.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 2, 2020

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