Wikipedia:Today's featured article/August 18, 2010

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Tunnel or notch view X-ray of the right knee from a patient suffering from Osteochondritis dissecans

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a joint disorder in which cracks form in the articular cartilage and the underlying subchondral bone. It is caused by blood deprivation in the subchondral bone, which leads to death of subchondral bone tissues in a process called avascular necrosis. The bone is then reabsorbed by the body, leaving the articular cartilage it supported prone to damage. The result is fragmentation of both cartilage and bone, and the free movement of these osteochondral fragments within the joint space, causing pain and further damage. In humans, OCD is a rare disease, occurring in only 15 to 30 people per 100,000 in the general population each year. Although rare, it is an important cause of joint pain in physically active adolescents. As their bones are still growing, adolescents are more likely than adults to recover from OCD, attributable to the growing bone's ability to repair damaged or dead bone tissue and cartilage in a process called bone remodeling. While OCD may affect any joint, the knee tends to be the most commonly affected, and constitutes 75% of all cases. (more...)

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