Young adolescents complaining of ankle pain, joint popping or locking with decreased range of motion of the ankle and swelling and tenderness are signs of osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). OCD most often occurs in athletic males between the ages of 10 and 20. A small piece of cartilage becomes loose and can detach in some cases. If the fragment of cartilage migrates and gets stuck in the ankle joint, surgical intervention is required. OCD can increase your chances of developing osteoarthritis of the ankle joint.
Physicians at Foot & Ankle Doctors, Inc. will take x-rays of your ankle and stage the severity of the injury from 1 to 4.
Treat of early stages of OCD involve immobilization of the ankle joint in a non-weight bearing cast to avoid stress on the ankle. Physical therapy is important to increase range of motion and strengthen muscles that support the ankle joint. If conservative treatments fail after 3 months or a fragment of bone is caught in the ankle joint, surgery is required.Surgical intervention includes arthroscopic treatment to clean the ankle joint of debris. Osteoarticular Transfer System (OATS) surgery is another treatment that replaces damaged cartilage relieving pain and resorting movement. Small plugs of healthy cartilage are taken from another area of the ankle joint and transferred to damaged area. Patients will be on crutches for 6 to 12 weeks after surgery and long term physical therapy is necessary to restore range of motion and relieve pain.
For more information visit us at Foot & Ankle Doctors, Inc.