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Is Osteochondritis Dissecans A Disability & Life Expectancy Of Someone With it?

Osteochondritis dissecans is focal aseptic necrosis of subchondral bone disorder predominantly affecting male teenagers and young adults. Knee, ankle, and radio capitellar joint of the elbow is the main joints affected with this condition when there is a lack of blood flow to the bone.

When Osteochondritis dissecans occurs, it causes pain and results in a reduced range of motion in the affected area, and in the worst cases, it can also lead to functional impairment.

Is Osteochondritis Dissecans A Disability?

You could be the one who is experiencing a wide range of knee pain. Your pain may range from moderate to severe. It can resolve over time or could be gradually worsening with sharp pain. The location of the pain may differ as well depending on the individual. Some people may suffer pain in both the knees while some may experience pain only on one side of the knee.

Many Osteochondritis dissecans patients lead a poor quality of life when they are affected by this disorder. When they experience immobilizing pain (a chronic condition) where they cannot move their parts of the body, they lose their ability to perform substantial duty and it could be an isolated moment frozen in time forever.1

Osteochondritis dissecans is a rare condition affecting approximately 1 in 6000 people. People who undergo chronic joint pain are eligible for Social security Disability Benefits. Individuals suffering from this condition often speculate “if their health disorder meets the criteria for a disability?”

Some health requirements can be provocative or politically charged. Disability typically depends on your medical reports, evidence you provide, and test results. In addition to that, you must also prove that the symptoms or limitations associated with that medical condition are sufficient to prevent you from performing the duties of your job. These factors may determine for short-term or long-term disability benefits.

If you have met these preliminary constraints, Social Security will subsequently review whether your disorder is eligible for disability allowances.2 To meet the criteria under this listing, you will require to ensure that your medical practitioner’s reports comprise precisely how your reduced range of motion restricts you performing your daily activities or your ability to function is so limited that you can’t work full-time based on MRI scan reports.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of An Individual With Osteochondritis Dissecans?

During the physical exam, your health care provider will press the inflamed joint to check for the swelling and tenderness of the muscles and ligaments. Also, your doctor will check for the joint flexibility to determine if you can move your limbs in various directions.

The life expectancy of an individual with Osteochondritis dissecans is dependent on a multitude of factors such as mode of treatment, the health condition of the patient, the age of the affected individual, the stage and degree of the symptoms and last but not the least the state of the growth plate. Younger patients with minor symptoms and more stable progression have better life expectancy however there is no clear evidence for unstable conditions.

In rare cases, osteochondritis dissecans affects people in more than one joint. It is not a genetic disorder but there are incidences where this condition is noticed in more than one member in the same family. Studies demonstrated that these people more likely to have a short stature which becomes a key factor in inheriting the disease because these individuals may have a break down of the bone or cartilage in the early phase of their lifetime.3,4


  1. “Osteochondritis Dissecans – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods.” co.uk – Offering Practical Advice and Information for the Disabled from the Disabled, www.disabledinfo.co.uk/dis/454-osteochondritis-dissecans-causes-symptoms-and-trea.asp
  2. Fitzpatrick, Anne. “Getting Social Security Disability or SSI for Joint Pain Problems.” disabilitysecrets.com, Nolo, 14 July 2016, www.disabilitysecrets.com/win-can-you-get-disability-for-joint-pain-problems.html
  3. “What Is the Life Expectancy of Someone with Osteochondritis Dissecans?” Diseasemaps, www.diseasemaps.org/osteochondritis-dissecans/top-questions/life-expectancy/
  4. Vavken, et al. “Osteochondritis Dissecans.” MalaCards, malacards.org/card/osteochondritis_dissecans

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 22, 2020

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