Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) is an uncommon condition that affects the joint surface of the knee. It is thought to be due to a temporary problem with the blood supply to a part of the bone, leading to separation of a portion of bone and joint surface. Often these heal by themselves but occasionally they can completely loosen and break off within the knee.
OCD causes pain and swelling at first but both can settle, which can make diagnosis difficult. Sometimes our knee specialists can identify the condition on an x-ray but usually MRI is required. We usually recommend rest and protection of the joint surface as the initial treatment. We prefer to reserve surgery for those instances which fail to settle, are more advanced, or if a fragment loosens or locks the knee.