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Musculoskeletal Disorders: Osteochondroses

The osteochondroses, also called Epiphyseal Ischemic Necrosis , are a relatively common group of orthopaedic disorders of children, which are poorly understood. In an osteochondrosis the epiphysis (growing end) of a bone dies and then is gradually replaced over a period of years, resulting in abnormal bone growth and deformity. The immediate cause of bone death is loss of blood supply, but why this occurs remains unclear.

Different diseases affect different bones:

  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (capital femoral epiphysis). The most common osteochondrosis, which occurs in the head of the thighbone. It occurs in youngsters between the ages of three and 13 and is much more frequent in boys than in girls. Persistent pain is the most prominent symptom. Uncorrected severe lesions lead to arrest of growth, deformity, and arthritic changes in the hip joint.
  • Shinbone , Osgood-Schlatter disease .
  • Spine , Scheuermann's disease .
  • Köhler's bone disease is a rare form of inflammation of bone and cartilage affecting the navicular bone (one of the small bones in the foot). The disease affects children, most commonly boys, between the ages of 3 and 5 years.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. The Encycloædia Britannica© Online:

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Contact Last modified: Jun 25 2002