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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone infections

Question: degenerative joint disease

 ljtomega - Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:55 pm

I was diagnosed with osteocondritis descicans of knees and elbows in 1952 and as a result discharged from military service. Recent exrays of those joints show degenerative joint disease. Djd also has turned up in shoulders and spine. What is the posibility of a connection between the disease of the knees and shoulders and spine? In other words could the problem with the shoulders have any connection with the problem with the knees?
 Dr. A. Saif - Mon Nov 08, 2004 2:42 pm

User avatar Hi Justice,

Osteochondritis Dessicans is a condition where a part of the cartilage and bone at the surface of a joint becomes separated from the rest of the joint surface to a greater or lesser extent. This detached fragment can reattach, disintegrate, or become a loose body within the joint. If the latter two happen the joint surface becomes irregular, and therefore functions less well, giving pain, locking, swelling and other symptoms. OCD tyipcally affects the adolescent or young adult.

Degenerative joint disease encompasses a wide range of diseases that essentially lead to a cycle of damage to the joint surface. Most often the cause is age related wear and tear of the joint, but it can be secondary to other conditions including OCD. The degenerative changes in your spine are unlikely to be related to OCD. OCD typically affects the knee, but can affect other large joints. The shoulder DJD again is unlikely to be related to OCD if it is of recent onset.

DJD is a common finding in joints on X-rays. The treatment of these largely depends on the symptoms they cause rather than the X-ray findings. The aetiology again is often of academic interest, at your age group I guess I would be more surprised if you didn't have some form of "DJD"



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