Osteochondritis dissecans

What causes osteochondritis dissecans?

In most cases, the exact underlying cause of osteochondritis dissecans is not completely understood. Scientists suspect that it may be due to decreased blood flow to the end of the affected bone, which may occur when repetitive episodes of minor injury and/or stress damage a bone overtime.

In some families, osteochondritis dissecans is caused by changes (mutations) in the ACAN gene. In these cases, which are referred to as familial osteochondritis dissecans, the condition generally affects multiple joints and is also associated with short stature and early- onset osteoarthritis. The ACAN gene encodes a protein that is important to the structure of cartilage. Mutations in this gene weaken cartilage, which leads to the various signs and symptoms of familial osteochondritis disssecans.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is osteochondritis dissecans diagnosed?

A diagnosis of osteochondritis dissecans is usually suspected based on the presence of characteristic signs and symptoms. Additional testing can then be ordered to confirm the diagnosis. These test may include x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or computed tomography (CT scan).

For more information about the diagnosis of osteochondritis dissecans, please click here.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How can I learn about research involving osteochondritis dissecans?

You can contact the Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison (PRPL) Office at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We recommend calling the toll-free number listed below to speak with a specialist who can help you determine if you or someone you know is eligible for any clinical trials.

Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office
NIH Clinical Center
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2655
Toll-free: 800-411-1222
Fax: 301-480-9793
Email: prpl@mail.cc.nih.gov
Web site: http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov/

You can find helpful general information on clinical trials at the following ClinicalTrials.gov Web page.

A tutorial about clinical trials that can also help answer your questions can be found at the following link from the National Library of Medicine:

Resources on many charitable or special-fare flights to research and treatment sites and low-cost hospitality accommodations for outpatients and family members, as well as ambulance services, are listed on the Web site of the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD), part of the National Institutes of Health.
http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/resources/5/support-for-patients-and- families#category17

Last updated on 05-01-20

Are there organizations that can give us information and resources to help us learn about the management of chronic pain?

Yes. Additional information and supportive resources for chronic pain can be obtained from the following organizations:

American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA)
P.O. Box 850
Rocklin, CA 95677-0850
Toll-free: 800-533-3231
Telephone: 916-632-0922
Fax: 916-632-3208
E-mail: ACPA@pacbell.net
Web site: http://www.theacpa.org

The National Pain Foundation
14828 W 6 Ave, Ste 16-B Room 1
Golden, CO 80401-5000
Telephone: 720-541-6808
Fax: 720-541-6809
Web site: http://www.thenationalpainfoundation.org

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might osteochondritis dissecans be treated?

The primary aim of treatment for osteochondritis dissecans is to restore normal function of the affected joint, relieve pain and prevent osteoarthritis. Treatment for the condition varies depending on many factors including the age of the affected person and the severity of the symptoms. In children and young teens, osteochondritis dissecans often heals overtime without surgical treatment. These cases are often managed with rest and in some cases, crutches and/or splinting to relieve pain and swelling.

If non-surgical treatments are not successful or the case is particularly severe (i.e. the cartilage and bone are moving around within the joint space), surgery may be recommended. Following surgery, physical therapy is often necessary to improve the strength and range of motion of the affected joint.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How can I find nonprofit organizations that provide information on obtaining financial aid for medical treatments?

Many different organizations provide financial assistance and travel/lodging assistance to patients and their families. For more information about these organizations including their contact information, please visit GARD's "Support for Patients and Families" page. Click on the link to access these resources.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Where To Start


FamilyDoctor.org provides additional information about Osteochondritis dissecans. Click on the link above to access this information.

Last updated on 04-27-20

Ana Rath and Stéphanie NGUENGANG WAKAP. Prevalence of rare diseases: Bibliographic data », Orphanet Report Series, Rare Diseases collection, January 2020, Number 2 : Diseases listed by decreasing prevalence, incidence or number of published cases Orphanet Report Series - Prevalence of rare diseases: Bibliographic data - January 2020 - Number 2. January 2020; Number 2. 64. Reference Link

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