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Canine Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)

Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) is canine joint disorder seen most frequently in young large and giant breed dogs. And no it does not mean obsessive-compulsive disorder when it comes to our four legged companions. The disorder involves a cartilage flap in the shoulder, stifle, elbow or tarsus. 

Treatment of shoulder OCD involves removal of the cartilage flap. In all cases, arthroscopic removal is considered the state of the art and least invasive method. Following flap removal, micro-fracturing the remaining defect is recommended. Micro-fracturing involves making small holes in the remaining defect in an attempt to reach a local blood supply, which aids in healing (see arthroscopic movie to the right). In the shoulder joint, the above treatment is usually all that is needed. 

In general dogs with shoulder OCD have an excellent prognosis following arthroscopic flap removal and micro-fracturing. Dogs with stifle, elbow and tarsal OCD have a less favorable prognosis although corrective osteotomy, regenerative stem cell therapy and replacing the defect with a bone/cartilage or synthetic core plug offer promise. All of these new procedures are being performed at CCO.

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