Arthroscopic Treatment of Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Capitellum: Report of 5 Female Athletes

Author(s): Krinin MR, Lim L, Willems WJ

Source: Arthroscopy 19(2): 210-17, 2003


This is a cohort study of 5 adolescent female athletes, ages 10 to 19 years, who were treated for symptomatic osteochondritis dissecans of the humeral capitellum.  Follow-up averaged 5 months.  When evaluated, all patients returned to their sport without loss of elbow motion. Two of 5 patients returned to high-level gymnastics. One patient required repeat arthroscopy for recurrent symptoms.

This paper highlights the use of arthroscopic techniques to manage osteochondritis dissecans of the elbow.  Aside from loose body removal and debridement of loose cartilage fragments that may be causing mechanical symptoms and irritation, it is unclear if chondroplasty, drilling, or cartilage resurfacing options will change the natural history of this condition.  This paper supports arthroscopic debridement when conservative measures fail.  Follow-up is short, however, and one of five required repeat surgery.

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