Race predicts unsuccessful healing of osteochondritis dissecans in the pediatric knee

Neeraj M. Patel*, Andrew R. Helber, Jigar S. Gandhi, Kevin G. Shea, Theodore J. Ganley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of race, insurance status, and socioeconomic status on successful or unsuccessful healing of osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) lesions in the pediatric knee. The authors retrospectively reviewed patients younger than 18 years who were treated for a knee OCD lesion between 2006 and 2017. Patients were required to have at least 6 months of clinical and radiographic follow-up to be included, unless complete healing was achieved sooner. The primary outcome of interest was healing of the OCD lesion based on radiographic and clinical examination. A total of 204 OCD lesions in 196 patients with a mean follow-up of 15.8±6.4 months were included. The mean age at initial presentation was 12.4±2.8 years. At most recent follow-up, 28 (13.7%) lesions did not show radiographic or clinical evidence of healing. Nonhealing lesions were found in 25.0% of Black children compared with 9.4% of White children (P=.02). After controlling for age, sex, sports participation, lesion size and stability, skeletal maturity, and operative vs nonoperative treatment in a multivariate model, Black children had 6.7 times higher odds of unsuccessful healing compared with their White counterparts (95% CI, 1.1-41.7; P=.04). In this study, Black children with OCD of the knee were significantly less likely to heal than were White patients, even when controlling for numerous other factors in a multivariate model. Although the exact etiology of this finding is unclear, future work should focus on the social, economic, and cultural factors that may lead to disparate outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E378-E384
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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