Doctors use arthroscopy to help diagnose and treat a variety of knee joint conditions, most common are listed
Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) is a condition in which fragments of joint cartilage become separated from the bone. These fragments may peel from the bone and remain intact or completely separate from the bone, forming loose bodies that float in the joint. These fragments usually originate from the femoral (thigh bone) side of the joint but can originate from any compartment.
What are the causes?
It is currently thought that most OCD lesions occur as a result of a traumatic injury that occurred in the patient's past. They can also occur in the athlete as a result of overuse. Some lesions do not have an identifiable cause.
What are the symptoms?
OCD causes pain at a specific area in the knee. Patients will complain of clicking and locking in the knee, particularly if the fragment has separated and is floating around the joint. Patients are often unable to fully flex and extend their knee.
How is it diagnosed?
Your surgeon will perform a thorough history and physical exam, which typically includes X-rays. Your surgeon will evaluate the range of motion. The origin of the fragment may be tender to the touch. X-rays may or may not identify OCD. MRI is standard for OCD diagnosis. Fluid seen behind the fragment on MRI is an indicator of OCD.
How is it treated?
Non-operative - Stable OCD lesions, those not likely to displace, are treated with anti-inflammatory medication, cryotherapy, activity modification and observation.
Operative - Unstable OCD lesions are evaluated by a minimally-invasive arthroscopic procedure. Sometimes the fragment can be repaired with small screws/tacks if it is still attached to the bone. If the fragment has separated from the bone and cannot be repaired, it will be removed and a cartilage regeneration or replacement procedure may be performed in the lesion. A microfracture procedure can be performed in the lesion to allow blood to soak the lesion. A cartilage graft, typically from a donor, can then be placed at the site. Over time, new cartilage will be formed over the lesion. Alternatively, your surgeon may choose to take a piece of cartilage from one area of the knee where it is not necessary and place it into the defect (autograft cartilage transplant procedure).