Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Elbow: Concepts of Etiology

Simon MacLean, Gregory I. Bain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a clinical condition of the capitellum which occurs most commonly in the adolescent athletes especially in repetitive elbow activities such as gymnasts, pitchers, and swimmers. The lesion is localized to an area of the capitellar subchondral bone plate, which is only a single trabecular layer thick (100 μm). The area involved is supplied by end vessels from the lateral condyle. The subarticular venous plexus consists of parallel veins located in the gutters of the subchondral bone plate. With repeated trauma of throwing, the fracture fails to heal. Obstruction of the venous drainage will lead to localized ischemia, edema of the intraosseous fat, and subsequently a localized compartment syndrome of the bone. Failure of healing of the fragment leads to separation, loose body formation, and finally degenerative osteoarthritis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArthroscopy and Endoscopy of the Elbow, Wrist and Hand
Subtitle of host publicationSurgical Anatomy and Techniques
EditorsDeepak N. Bhatia, Gregory I. Bain, Gary G. Poehling, Benjamin R. Graves
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783030794231
ISBN (Print)9783030794224
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Avascular necrosis
  • Elbow
  • Osteochondritis
  • Pathogenesis


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