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Is Osteochondritis Dissecans A Progressive Disease & Alternative Treatments For It?

Osteochondritis Dissecans refer to a joint condition, where bone presents below the joint cartilage dies because of a lack of enough blood flow. The cartilage and bone may, later on, break loose to cause pain and hinders the joint motion.

Is Osteochondritis Dissecans A Progressive Disease?

Yes, the condition of Osteochondritis Dissecans is a progressive one. The reason for this is that the progression of the disease causes focal joint disorder because of changes in sub-chondral bones and overlying of articular cartilage. Both of these problems may result in the problem of early joint degeneration.(3)

Alternative Treatments To Deal With Osteochondritis Dissecans

If your condition related to Osteochondritis Dissecans becomes worse, the affected bone area may collapse leading to the formation of notch within a smooth joint surface. The cartilage present on this dead section suffers damage and in turn, causes catching or snapping feeling, as the knee joint moves around the area of the notch.

In some of the cases, the dead bone is actually detached from the remaining femur area to form a loose body. The loose body floats across the inner area of your knee joint. When the loose body gets in its way, the knee may lock or catch at the time of movement.

Conservative Care: With time, doctors have come up with conservative care solutions based on evidence and studies to reveal various optimal ways to give support to the natural healing process. At the initial stage, the approach intends to mention non-weight bearing and immobilization of your legs. However, the main issue with this type of process is that it leads the patient to have weak and stiff knees, which start to lose the mass of the bone because of disuse or misuse. Today, you can place the leg within an immobilizer but a partial weight-bearing technique is helpful until and unless the patient does not experience any pain. The healing process requires six weeks.

Increase Of Weight And Addition Of Low Intensive Strengthening Exercises: The next phase related to alternative treatments of Osteochondritis Dissecans is to increase the weight to place on the leg and foot combined with the addition of low intensive strengthening exercises. However, doctors never allow any of the patients to take part in any of the sports activities until the X-ray shows the healing of the bone. The rehab care continues until the patient experiences any symptom and he/she completed the complete course under the guidance of a qualified physical therapist.(4)

Osteochondritis Dissecans mainly takes place in adolescents and children. Osteochondritis Dissecans mainly cause symptoms after a joint injury or after many months of high-intensive physical activities. These include running and jumping, both of which affect your joints. The condition mainly takes place in knees, but in some cases, it takes place in ankles, elbows, and other joints.

Doctors have staged the condition of Osteochondritis Dissecans according to the injury size, whether the fragment completely or partially detaches and the fragment remains in its place. If the loose cartilage piece and the bone remain in their places, you do not experience any symptom or only a few of the symptoms. If we talk about young children, who have still developing bones, the injury heals on its own.(1)

Common Symptoms Of Osteochondritis Dissecans

Osteochondritis Dissecans usually do not cause any symptom when it remains in the early stage i.e. when the bone does not separate from its cartilage. However, as the symptoms take place, you notice the following major problems across your affected joints. These are swelling, pain, tenderness, popping sound, weakness, locking sensation, and reduction in the motion range. Moreover, the symptoms related to Osteochondritis Dissecans become worse when a patient follows any of the highly intensive activities, like jumping and running.(2)


Yes, Osteochondritis Dissecans is a type of progressive disease, and depending on the underlying symptoms and pain, one can get good results via alternative treatments, such as rehab and conservative care.


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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:May 31, 2020

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