Osteochondral Defect- Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

What is osteochondral defect (OCD)?

Osteochondral defect lesions are a form of chronic knee pain that occurs when part of the bone and cartilage separates from the rest of the knee joint. The knee is made up of bones, muscles, ligaments and cartilage that hold this joint together. Usually, this condition is found in more children than adults. Patients can suffer from osteochondral defect knee pain starting at a young, but it can continue into adulthood.

What causes osteochondral defects?

There is no exact cause of an osteochondral defect diagnosis in the knee. This chronic knee pain condition is linked to anything that will cause the bones or cartilage to loosen from each other. Especially in children, it is important to monitor their growth and development in case osteochondral defect symptoms occur. This condition can also be onset by:

  • Repetitive knee injuries
  • Excessive stress on the knee joint
  • Abnormal development in the legs and knees

Some cases of an osteochondral defect diagnosis are worse than others. Measure your child’s growth to ensure there is no irregular development and chance of chronic knee pain.

How do I know if I have osteochondral defects?

Osteochondral defects in the knee are lesions of cartilage and bone so a major symptom of this condition is severe knee pain. Small tasks such as walking or standing are painful if you are suffering from osteochondral defect symptoms. Other forms of osteochondral defect knee pain include:

  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Catching and locking knee joint
  • Chronic pain when any pressure is put on the knee

What can I do to prevent osteochondral defects?

Each part of the knee joint like the bones, ligaments and cartilage should have a physical connection to one another. Patients can prevent osteochondral defects in the knee by preserving these connections. Injuries and abnormal development can cause this problem so prevent it with:

  • Even weight balance between both knees
  • Rest for the knee after any injury
  • Regular doctor appointments as children start growth spurts