Osteochondritis dissecans is a problem that affects mainly young athletes, but occasionally the residual effects of an osteochondritis dissecans lesion can be seen in an adult. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss this injury and surgery for an OCD lesion of the knee.

Caleb asks:

I have OCD, and the bone is floating around in my knee. It’s about to be my senior year, and I have colleges looking at me. Do you think I should play? I don’t feel any pain in my knee when I run and jump. I was wondering if I get the right therapy, could I come back from the surgery in 2 or 3 months?

What is osteochondritis dissecans, or an OCD lesion?

An OCD lesion involves the bone under the articular cartilage in part of the knee starting to die. Early on the cartilage over this diseased bone is intact, but it can later break off with the underlying bone and float freely within the knee joint.

Fragments removed during surgery for an OCD lesion of the knee

Signs and symptoms of an OCD lesion of the knee

Osteochondritis dissecans typically affects athletes from approximately age 10-15. Early in the disease process, you might experience dull pain or soreness and swelling. You could have knee swelling without much pain at all. Once the cartilage and/or bone breaks free, you will probably feel clicking, catching, or even locking of your knee.

Recovery and surgery for an OCD lesion of the knee

There are a number of treatment options. Once the piece has broken off, surgery is almost always necessary. In this video, I discuss the types of surgery and how you might recover from those surgeries.

Also read:
Should you play sports with an OCD lesion in your knee?
Surgery for osteochondritis dissecans

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, on my website, on my podcast, or in social media. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

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