Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Capitellum :Review of the Literature

J Med Invest. 2020;67(3.4):217-221. doi: 10.2152/jmi.67.217.


Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the capitellum is a leading cause of elbow disability in adolescent baseball players. Previous studies have not found an association of player position with capitellar OCD. Elbow pain and a longer playing history might be related to progression of capitellar OCD but do not in themselves increase the risk of development of the condition. The cause of capitellar OCD is likely to include a combination of repetitive microtrauma and internal factors, such as ischemia and genetic predisposition. A combination of radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasonography have aided our understanding of the pathology of capitellar OCD. Screening using ultrasonography enables early detection and provides an opportunity for successful conservative treatment. Treatment has conventionally included both operative and nonoperative measures based on the stage and size of the lesion, skeletal maturity, subjective symptoms, and structural integrity of the cartilage. Early-stage lesions respond better to nonoperative treatment than those in more advanced stages. Operative indications include persistent symptoms despite nonoperative treatment, symptomatic loose bodies, and displacement or detachment of fragments. J. Med. Invest. 67 : 217-221, August, 2020.

Keywords: baseball; elbow; osteochondritis dissecans.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans / epidemiology
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans / etiology
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans / therapy*