Osteochondral fractures

Osteochondral fractures are breaks in the joint lining where a piece of the articular cartilage (the cartilage overlying the end of the bones) breaks off with a piece of underlying bone.  They have a traumatic cause and result in a rapid swelling of the knee.  The fragment that breaks off can act as a loose body in the knee and lead to pain and mechanical symptoms. 

If the diagnosis is made acutely and the fragment is of a reasonable size, the fragment can be fixed back on to the joint surface.  If the diagnosis is delayed the fragment may need to be removed and the defect filled with a cartilage graft.

RELATED SUBJECTS

Osteochondral grafting

Loose bodies

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