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Osteochondrosis: common causes of pain in growing bones

Alfred Atanda, Suken A Shah, Kathleen O'Brien
American Family Physician 2011 February 1, 83 (3): 285-91
21302869
Osteochondrosis is a term used to describe a group of disorders that affect the growing skeleton. These disorders result from abnormal growth, injury, or overuse of the developing growth plate and surrounding ossification centers. The exact etiology of these disorders is unknown, but genetic causes, repetitive trauma, vascular abnormalities, mechanical factors, and hormonal imbalances may all play a role. Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease is a hip disorder that causes hip pain, an atraumatic limp, and knee pain. Osgood-Schlatter and Sinding-Larsen-Johannson diseases are common causes of anterior knee pain that is aggravated by jumping activities and kneeling. Sever disease causes heel pain that is exacerbated by activity and wearing cleats. It often mimics Achilles tendinitis and is treated with activity and shoe modifications, heel cups, and calf stretches. Freiberg disease and Köhler bone disease often cause foot pain and are disorders of the metatarsal head and navicular bone, respectively. Radiographs show sclerosis, flattening, and fragmentation of bone in both diseases. Elbow pain can be caused by medial epicondyle apophysitis or Panner disease. Medial epicondyle apophysitis is exacerbated by frequent throwing and is treated with throwing cessation and acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Panner disease is the most common cause of lateral-sided elbow pain in children younger than 10 years. It may or may not be associated with frequent throwing, and it resolves spontaneously. Scheuermann disease causes back pain and a humpback deformity from vertebral bone anterior wedging.

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