Osteochondritis dissecans of the capitellum: A review of the literature and a distal ulnar portal

Kimberly I M Van Den Ende, Amy L. McIntosh, Julie E. Adams, Scott P. Steinmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the humeral capitellum most commonly affects young athletes engaged in sports that repetitively stress the elbow. It is characterized by localized injury of subchondral bone of the humeral capitellum. To determine the best treatment option for OCD in young athletes, it is important to differentiate between stable and unstable OCD lesions. Stable lesions can be treated with rest, whereas unstable lesions, as well stable lesions that do not respond to conservative therapy, may require a surgical approach. Magnetic resonance imaging is the diagnostic study of choice to evaluate capitellar OCD lesions and loose bodies and to accurately determine the stability and viability of the OCD fragment. A variety of surgical approaches have been reported, from internal fixation of large fragments to autologous chondrocyte grafts. Arthroscopic surgery is becoming the standard treatment of capitellar OCD. This minimally invasive approach shows good results, a low risk of operative morbidity, and early recuperation postoperatively. The distal ulnar portal we describe here allows for ergonomic exposure to the posterolateral capitellum, providing easier access for drilling, burring, and local debridement of lesions amenable to arthroscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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