Osteochondritis dissecans is a condition of the joints that appears to affect subchondral bone primarily, with secondary effects on articular cartilage. With progression, this pathology may present clinically with symptoms related to the integrity of the articular cartilage. Early signs, associated with intact cartilage, may be related to a softening phenomenon and alteration in the mechanical properties of cartilage. Later stages, because of the lack of underlying support of the cartilage, can present with signs of articular cartilage separation, cartilage flaps, loose bodies, inflammatory synovitis, persistent or intermittent joint effusion, and, in severe cases, secondary joint degeneration. Selecting and recommending a surgical intervention require balancing application of nonsurgical interventions with assessment of the degree of articular cartilage stability and the potential for spontaneous recovery.
View details for PubMedID 16467184