How is osteochrondritis dissecans (OCD) treated?
At the Sports Medicine Program for Young Athletes at Children’s Hospital Colorado, there are many treatments for OCD. In patients who are still growing, we treat mild OCDs with rest and a recommendation to decrease running, jumping and throwing activities. Activities can be resumed gradually once symptoms are resolved and there is evidence of healing on x-rays. Mild OCDs have a good chance of healing without surgery and pose minimal risk for arthritis.
More advanced OCDs, or those in older adolescents, are treated with surgery. We use minimally-invasive surgical methods to reestablish blood flow and cartilage restoration/repair techniques. Some more advanced techniques include arthroscopic surgery (a minimally invasive surgical procedure) and bone transplantation/grafting procedures. Most patients are good candidates for the arthroscopic surgeries.
Recovery time from surgery ranges from 12 weeks for the arthroscopic procedures to six months for the more invasive techniques.
Treatment for cartilage injury
Acute cartilage injury, if diagnosed early, can sometimes be treated by repairing the torn cartilage piece. More complicated defects and injuries are treated by the more advanced surgical techniques for cartilage restoration.
Learn why parents choose our Sports Medicine Program for the treatment of OCD and cartilage injuries.