Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Elbow

Osteochondritis dissecans of the elbow occurs when a portion of bone or cartilage is cut off from its blood supply. This creates a ‘dead’ area within the elbow. Osteochondritis dissecans is typically seen more often in young athletes, particularly young baseball pitchers. This condition is thought to be caused by repeated stress to the elbow joint, but the exact cause is unknown.

Symptoms of Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Elbow

  • Pain and swelling in the elbow
  • Weakness and loss of motion in the elbow
  • Clicking or locking of the elbow joint

Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Elbow Treatments

  • Rest
  • Immobilization with a cast or brace
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical Therapy

Minimally invasive elbow surgery may be necessary if the dead area of the bone and cartilage separates from the healthy portion of bone. The dead fragments can float around inside the elbow joint and become lodged causing the elbow to lock up. Our hand and upper extremity specialists at Emory will discuss the best treatment option for your elbow.

If you have questions, or to make an appointment, call: 404-778-3350.