Background: Juvenile osteochondritis dissecans
(JOCD) lesions are rarely located in the trochlea
and few studies have focused on the causes and outcomes of JOCD lesions in this part of the knee
. The purpose of this study is to (1) evaluate the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients who undergo surgery for JOCD in this unusual location as well as (2) assess the association between trochlear JOCD and participation in sporting activities that load the patellofemoral joint.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 34 trochlear JOCD lesions in 30 patients. Cases that involved traumatic cartilage shear or patella instability were excluded. Preoperative and postoperative magnetic resonance images and x-rays were evaluated and demographic data, sports played, comorbidities, surgical procedures, and clinical data were extracted from medical records. A case-control cohort of 102 femoral condyle lesions was used to assess the correlation between sports played and lesion location.
The cohort comprised 34 consecutive trochlear JOCD lesions in 30 patients (26 males, 4 females). Average age at surgery was 13.8 years (9.3 to 18.0 y). In total, 27 (90%) patients were active, and of these active patients, soccer
were the most common sports played. In the case-control comparison, the correlation between playing either basketball
and the presence of a trochlear JOCD lesion was statistically significant (P
=0.017). In total, 21 knees (62%) received operative treatment. Sixteen of the surgical patients underwent repair and fixation with bioabsorbable nails. The average length of clinical and radiographic follow-up was 21.1 months. All patients who underwent fixation showed radiographic and/or clinical indications of healing at most recent follow-up. Thirteen of the patients who underwent fixation were active, and all of these patients reported successful return to sports. Thirteen knees underwent nonoperative treatment, and the majority of these patients had limited follow-up.
We report a significant association between pediatric athletes who play basketball
and the development of trochlear JOCD, suggesting that repetitive loading of the patellofemoral joint may play a role in the development of JOCD lesions. Patients with trochlear JOCD lesions were likely to undergo surgery, and repair and fixation of the lesions produced good outcomes at short-term follow-up.
Level of Evidence:
Level III—case-control study.