You will recall that the joint is made up of bone which is covered by hyaline cartilage. Occasionally, a segment of the underlying bone can become detached, taking its cartilage cap with it. This would be a so-called “osteochondral lesion”/p>
They can occur developmentally (ie be present from birth or thereabouts) or alternatively, can be of a post-traumatic origin.
Because part of the joint surface is involved, these lesions assume very great importance. It is preferable to reattached the bony base of the osteochondral loose body and allow is to regrow. Sometimes, the osteochondral lesion has to be removed. This can leave a defect in or near a weight bearing surface and predispose the patient to the onset and progression of osteoarthritis in quite a rapid manner. This requires careful assessment and treatment by your Orthopaedic Surgeon.