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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Initial treatment follows the basic “R.I.C.E.” steps (rest, ice, compression and elevation), combined with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Patients will need to temporarily stop running or playing impact sports.
If the loose piece is stable (not detached), this conservative treatment may be all that's needed. Blood vessels sometimes can feed the outer edges of the injured bone, allowing the piece to heal on its own.
If your child's osteochondritis dissecans doesn't heal on its own, and the joint becomes painful, stiff or locked, surgery may be needed. Depending on the type of osteochondritis dissecans, your child's age and other factors, the doctor may recommend a surgery to:
After surgery, your child will need to wear a cast or brace to immobilize the joint for a period of time that your child's doctor will determine. Your child may still have an increased risk of premature arthritis (pain, inflammation and degeneration of the joint) in the joint, even if he or she has surgery.
Your child will need to complete a course of physical therapy before gradually resuming activity or sports. After the joint has healed and regained strength and stability, your child should be able to return to sports and activities — usually within six months.
It's important for your child to stay involved in some form of fitness to ensure continued physical health and well-being. The doctor may recommend lifestyle changes if there are joint changes, such as arthritis or instability, that couldn’t be corrected.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”