Wojciech Konarski, Tomasz Poboży, Klaudia Konarska, Andrzej Śliwczyński, Ireneusz Kotela, Jan Krakowiak

A Comparative Analysis of Osteochondritis Dissecans and Avascular Necrosis: A Comprehensive Review

  • General Medicine

Musculoskeletal disorders, standing as the fifth leading cause of disability-adjusted life years globally, present significant challenges in orthopedics. Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) and avascular necrosis (AVN) are distinct but closely related conditions within this spectrum, impacting patients’ quality of life with pain, limited mobility, and dysfunction. OCD, involving cartilage and bone detachment in joints, predominantly affects young athletes, but its exact etiology and optimal management remain subjects of ongoing research. Conversely, AVN, marked by bone tissue death due to compromised blood supply, is linked to systemic factors like corticosteroid use and traumatic injuries. Diagnosis for both conditions relies on radiography and magnetic resonance imaging. Conservative treatment for AVN includes the use of a cane or crutches, pharmacological therapy, or physical therapy. On the other hand, in OCD, the primary approach is activity/sports restriction. Surgical treatment options for AVN patients encompass core decompression, bone grafting, or, in the most advanced cases, total hip arthroplasty. OCD may be surgically treated through subchondral drilling or fixation of unstable lesions. Advanced cases of OCD involve cartilage salvage with resurfacing techniques. The presentation of differences between these conditions enhances our understanding, facilitating improved diagnosis and management strategies.

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