OCD Of The Knee

OCD Of The Knee

Cartilage surrounds every joint in your body to protect the joint and facilitate easy movement. A knee injury can potentially impact the blood flow to the cartilage, causing the bone to soften. Over time this can cause cartilage damage and intense pain, which is detrimental to an athlete. Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a condition that can occur in the knee joint that limits blood supply to the knee. At New York Sports Medicine Institute, we understand how frustrating it can be when pain keeps you from doing what you love. Our team will examine your condition and determine the best course of action to get you back in the game. Please continue reading to learn more about Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the knee and how it is treated. 

What Is OCD Of The Knee?

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a condition that occurs when a segment of the bone in the knee separates from its surrounding area due to a lack of blood supply. This can cause the small piece of bone and cartilage to crack and loosen. Inflammation around the joint can cause mediating tissues to move away from one another, which then causes a separation of cartilage on part of the joint’s surface. 

The causes of knee joint OCD are not well understood, but it is thought that it may be caused by an imbalance between forces placed on the joint and how it is held together. This is a condition that afflicts many young people at an age when their bodies are growing. Athletes who participate in sports involving jumping and rapid direction changes have an increased risk of developing OCD in the knee. In addition, many studies point to a genetic component and that the condition is more likely to develop in those whose families have had a history of the issue.

Symptoms of OCD

A knee affected by OCD may appear swollen, red, or warm when compared with the other knee. There is often pain when the afflicted area is moved or when the knee is stressed by jumping or running. The pain may be worse while walking downstairs and after physical activities. Many patients experience joint locking and the feeling that their knee is going to give way. Pain in the knee area of a person with OCD can be confused with other joint problems, such as a torn meniscus, but imaging tests can rule out other conditions. 

Treating OCD Of The Knee

If you suspect that you have OCD of the knee, it’s essential to make an appointment at New York Sports Medicine Institute as soon as possible so our team can diagnose your condition and provide suitable treatment. Catching this condition early on allows for a greater chance of quicker healing. Once diagnosed, our team can treat OCD of the knee in the following ways:

  • Stopping activity.
  • Immobilizing the knee joint with a brace. 
  • Anti-inflammatory pain medication. 
  • Physical therapy to strengthen muscles around the knee. 

Surgical solutions are only recommended for severe cases of OCD or when conservative treatments do not provide adequate results. Surgery aims to get the joint back to normal function and restore blood flow to the area. The surgeon makes a small incision to reattach or remove loose bone fragments and secure them with pins or screws. During osteochondral autograft transfer (OATS), the surgeon uses healthy cartilage to replace the injured cartilage on the joint surface that receives stress. After surgery, our team recommends a rehabilitation program and eventually physical therapy to help patients regain joint strength and stability. 

Contact Us

Pain from OCD may remain long-term if the condition is left untreated. Our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute is here to help you understand what to expect with this condition and discuss the most appropriate treatment options for you. To learn more about OCD of the knee, be sure to contact us today!