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PatientPlus articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use, so you may find the language more technical than the condition leaflets.

See also: Joint Pain written for patients
This page has been archived. It has not been updated since 21/05/2010. External links and references may no longer work.

Synonyms: the ischaemic necroses

This group of conditions mainly affect children; and all involve a defect in ossification at either the bone epiphysis (growing plate), the joint surface itself, or at an apophysis (bony projection).[1]

When articular surfaces become ischaemic, osteochondritis develops - this is associated with avascular necrosis and sclerosis.

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The underlying defect in the different osteochondroses is usually not known but the mechanism often relates to trauma or stress on the area affected. Commonly there is breakdown of the area with poor mineralisation. Articular surfaces that develop osteochondritis may fragment (osteochondral fracture = osteochondritis dissecans), eg in the knee, elbow, ankle, etc.

The osteochondroses are often classified as follows (click on links for separate related articles):

Further reading & references

  1. Pessler F, Sherry D; Osteochondroses,Merck Manual, 2008.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Dr Huw Thomas
Current Version:
Document ID:
2548 (v23)
Last Checked:
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