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Clin Sports Med. 2014 Apr;33(2):181-8. doi: 10.1016/j.csm.2013.11.006. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Osteochondritis dissecans of the knee: pathoanatomy, epidemiology, and diagnosis.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Intermountain Orthopaedics, 600 Robbins Road, Boise, ID 83702, USA; Department of Orthopaedics, University of Utah School of Medicine, 1311 Medical Plaza, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Orthopaedics, Kaiser-Permanente Los Angeles, 4760 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA.
Department of Orthopaedics, University of Utah School of Medicine, 590 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84103, USA.


Although several hypotheses have been described to explain the cause of osteochondritis dissecans, no single hypothesis has been accepted in the orthopedic community. Given its increased incidence among athletes, most in the sports medicine community agree that repetitive microtrauma plays at least some role in its development. Knowledge regarding the epidemiology and pathoanatomy of osteochondritis dissecans has helped the understanding of osteochondritis dissecans; however, much is still to be learned about this condition and its cause. This article reviews the history of osteochondritis as it pertains to the current understanding of its pathoanatomy, epidemiology, and diagnostic features.


Epidemiology; Knee; Osteochondritis dissecans; Osteochondrosis; Sports medicine

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