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Juvenile osteochondritis dissecans of the knee: current concepts in diagnosis and management.

Osteochondritis dissecans of the knee is a diagnosis that encompasses a wide spectrum of pathologies that can result in irreversible damage to articular cartilage and subchondral bone. Osteochondritis dissecans was first described more than 100 years ago, and despite substantial research on the topic, large gaps remain in the understanding of its etiology and optimal treatment. An underlying vascular insult, resulting in separation of the progeny lesion from the parent subchondral bone, is a suspected cause but remains unproven. No single standardized classification exists to accurately predict long-term risk. Nonsurgical treatment with activity modification remains an option for stable lesions in young patients. Surgical treatment to encourage vascular ingrowth and healing is gaining popularity and represents a shift in thinking regarding the risk of disease progression. Unstable and displaced lesions remain a difficult treatment challenge. Various salvage procedures have shown promise, but the potential for long-term morbidity remains.

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