OsteoChondritis Dissecans or OCD of the elbow is the condition where there is a loss of blood supply to the cartilage in the elbow, leading to its death. This can be due to a repetitive trauma or a genetic component that makes some patients prone to this condition.
It is usually found in young people involved in sports like gymnastics, baseball etc. The pain is minimal if the cartilage is partially torn or is in place and healing will take its own course. In extreme cases, the cartilage can tear off and can get caught in the elbow joint, causing pain and loss of motion and functionality of the elbow.
The OCD has the following symptoms:
The doctor would also recommend the following tests to diagnose this condition:
The different non-surgical treatment options are:
The doctors will recommend surgical treatments depending on the cartilage’s size and location. The cartilage fragment is then removed from the elbow and reattached using stitches or screws. Another alternative is by drilling the fragment to the bone to stimulate new cartilage growth, stem cell from bone marrow injection, cartilage grafting from knee joint , depending upon the size and location of the defect . The doctors usually recommend Elbow Arthroscopy for this.
This is a minimal invasive surgical procedure performed to diagnose and also treat injuries to the elbow joint like Tennis Elbow.
The surgery involves the doctor in creating couple of incisions and inserting the tiny camera called the Arthroscope, which will act as a visual aid for the doctors in performing the procedure. The doctors will first examine the injured area and then insert thin surgical instruments through the other incisions and use the arthroscope to guide them to the injured spot and perform the procedure.