Clinical outcome of internal fixation of unstable juvenile osteochondritis dissecans lesions of the knee

Jonathan E. Webb, Laura W. Lewalen, Christy Christophersen, Aaron J. Krych, Amy L. McIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Juvenile osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) lesions of the knee are a common cause of knee pain in skeletally immature patients.The authors sought to determine lesion healing rates, the risk factors associated with failure to heal, and the clinical outcomes for patients who underwent internal fixation for unstable OCD lesions. A retrospective review was conducted of all patients who underwent internal fixation of OCD lesions from 1999 to 2009. Using validated scoring systems, clinical outcome and functional activity were evaluated at the follow-up. The study group comprised 19 patients (20 knees). Mean patient age was 14.5 years (range, 12-17 years). Mean clinical follow-up was 7 years (range, 2-13 years). Mean radiographic follow-up was 2.5 years (range, 0.5-9 years). Fourteen (70%) lesions were grade 3 and 6 (30%) were grade 4. Eleven knees had lateral condyle lesions and 9 had medial lesions. Bioabsorbable fixation was used in 13 knees, metal fixation was used in 5 knees, and 2 knees were fixed with a combination of methods. Osseous integration was evident in 15 (75%) of 20 knees at final follow-up. The 5 unhealed lesions were lateral condylar lesions. Mean Tegner activity scores improved from 3.3 preoperatively to 5.6 at final follow-up. Mean Lysholm and International Knee Documentation Committee scores were 86.8 and 88.7, respectively, at final follow-up. Further operative intervention was required in 11 knees, with 50% of patients undergoing removal of hardware and 15% requiring subsequent osteochondral allograft transplantation. The authors recommend bioabsorbable fixation for symptomatic stable lesions and metal compression screws with staged removal for unstable lesions. (Figure Presented).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1444-e1449
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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