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Research project  |  Juvenile osteochondritis dissecans of the knee, from cause to care


Status: Clinical

Evaluation of juvenile osteochondritis dissecans in a population-based cohort and its association with multiple potential risk factors.

What we do

About our project

In Juvenile Osteochondritis Dissecans (JOCD) of the knee, a segment of bone, along with the overlying cartilage, becomes damaged. In the advanced stages, a detached bone fragment with cartilage may become a loose body within the knee joint, resulting in the formation of a crater on the joint's articular surface. This process occurs during the knee's growth phase, and it is more prevalent in individuals actively engaged in sports during this developmental period. Currently, the specific contributing factors to JOCD development remain unclear.

A comprehensive, population-based cohort study is underway at ErasmusMC-Sophia Children’s Hospital, known as Generation-R. This study involves the continuous monitoring of children from birth throughout their lifespan. At the age of 13, approximately 1500 children underwent knee MRI scans, with various parameters, including activity levels, BMI, and symptoms of knee pain, being documented. Although we have already analyzed all the MRI scans for the presence of early-stage JOCD in the knee, we have not yet investigated potential correlated risk factors, such as sports participation, activity levels, and BMI.

The objective of this research is to identify possible risk factors associated with the occurrence of early-stage JOCD in these children.


We intend to retrieve information from the Generation-R cohort, specifically focusing on children who underwent knee MRI scans. The data extraction will encompass various factors, including knee pain history, activity levels, BMI, skeletal age, educational background, and information regarding other metabolic disorders and co-morbidities. Our objective is to analyze and correlate these data points with the presence of early stages of Juvenile Osteochondritis Dissecans (JOCD) in the knee. Through this approach, we aim to identify a subgroup of children potentially at risk for developing JOCD.
This methodology allows us to pinpoint patients exhibiting symptoms in the early stages, making it possible to intervene during a phase where JOCD may be more manageable.

Funds & Grants

In the initial phase of the study, we obtained a grant from the ANNA Foundation to facilitate the identification of Juvenile Osteochondritis Dissecans (JOCD) in knee MRI scans.


This project is a collaborative effort involving three departments at Erasmus MC, Rotterdam: specifically, the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, the Department of Radiology, and the Department of General Practice.


Physician preferences in diagnostics and treatment of juvenile osteochondritis dissecans are diverse across the knee, ankle and elbow: an ESSKA survey.
Kemmeren LAM, van Bergen CJA, Reijman M, Piscaer TM.Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2023 Nov;31(11):5228-5237. doi: 10.1007/s00167-023-07563-0. Epub 2023 Oct 3.PMID: 37787862

Our team