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Overview of Osteochondroses

by David D. Sherry, MD, Frank Pessler, MD, PhD

Osteochondroses are noninflammatory, noninfectious derangements of bony growth at various ossification centers. These derangements occur during the period of greatest developmental activity and affect the epiphyses.

Etiology is typically unknown; some of the disorders have a familial component, but inheritance is complex. Osteochondroses differ in their anatomic distribution, course, and prognosis; they typically cause pain and have important orthopedic implications. Common examples include infrapatellar tendinitis (see Infrapatellar Tendinitis), Köhler bone disease (see Köhler Bone Disease), Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (see Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease), Osgood-Schlatter disease (see Osgood-Schlatter Disease), and Scheuermann disease (see Scheuermann Disease).

Rare osteochondroses and the involved bones include Freiberg disease (head of 2nd metatarsal), Panner disease (capitulum), and Blount disease (proximal tibia). Sever disease (calcaneal apophysitis) is a more common osteochondrosis.

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