Objective. We investigated the usefulness of plain film and MR findings in predicting the outcome of conservatively treated patients with femoral osteochondritis dissecans. Design. Without knowledge of the clinical outcome, we retrospectively reviewed the initial plain films and MR examinations. Each MR examination was evaluated for the four MR findings of instability. Patients. Fourteen patients were studied in whom osteochondritis dissecans of a femoral condyle had been treated conservatively for periods ranging from 1.2 to 8.5 years. Results and conclusion. Three of five patients with an open femoral growth plate and one of nine patients with a closed growth plate had a good clinical outcome. Both patients with lesions smaller than 160 mm2 in area had a good outcome and ten of 12 patients with larger lesions had a poor outcome. Both patients with stable lesions by MR imaging had a good outcome while ten of 12 patients with a lesion unstable by MR imaging had poor outcomes. All six patients with a cartilage fracture or articular defect had poor outcomes. The results of this study should be considered preliminary since only 14 patients were followed. However, it appears that a good clinical outcome is likely when the femoral growth plate is open, when the osteochondritis dissecans is small, and when the lesion is stable by MR imaging. When a cartilage fracture or articular defect is found on MR imaging, the patient is likely to have a poor outcome.
- Femoral condyles
- MR imaging
- Osteochondritis dissecans
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology