What is osteochondritis dissecans?
Osteochondritis dissecans is a joint problem that occurs when a piece of cartilage and a thin layer of bone separate from the end of a bone because of a loss of blood supply. The loose piece may stay in place or fall into the joint space, making the joint unstable. This causes pain and feelings that the joint "sticks" or is "giving way." These loose pieces are sometimes called "joint mice."
Osteochondritis dissecans most often occurs in the knees, but also may occur in other joints, including elbows, ankles, shoulders and hips.
Osteochondritis Dissecans: A Diagnosis Not to Miss by AL Hixon, M.D. and LM Gibbs, M.D. (American Family Physician January 01, 2000, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000101/151.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff