Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Elbow
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Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is an inflammation of the bone and cartilage that usually affects adolescents and young adults. A 16-year-old baseball player who had chronic elbow pain illustrates the typical course of OCD of the elbow. Radiographs may be diagnostic, but bone scan is a more sensitive diagnostic tool, and magnetic resonance imaging offers information for staging and characterization of lesions. If symptoms do not resolve with rest, surgery is recommended, including loose-body removal with curettage or drilling. The prognosis is good with early diagnosis and treatment. Left untreated, OCD may progress to degenerative joint disease. Prevention includes strengthening and stretching exercises and limits on throwing activities.
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