Osteochondritis dissecans is a joint problem that occurs when a piece of cartilage and a thin layer of bone separate from the end of a bone because of a loss of blood supply. The loose piece may stay in place or fall into the joint space, making the joint unstable. This causes pain and makes the joint "lock" or "give way." Osteochondritis dissecans most often occurs in the knees, but also may occur in other joints, including elbows, ankles, shoulders and hips.
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