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Osteochondritis Dissecans- Elbow

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Leita

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Nov 12, 2016
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Hi! My 12 year old had surgery for OCD (Osteochondritis Dissecans) in her elbow a month ago. They removed the loose fragments, debridement, and the bone was allowed to bleed out (no microfracturing necessary bc the lesion was deep enough to bleed). The plan is for my daughter to go back to gym in a month (non-weight bearing) and to stay off her elbow for 6-9 months post-surgery.

Does anyone here have an experience with this to share?
 

gymmom2one

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Nov 2, 2016
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My daughter's teammate had this surgery twice... on both elbows. I don't know a lot about the condition but her first surgery was 3 years ago.
 

proudgymdad

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Jan 25, 2014
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DD had the microfracture version of the surgery for OCD in March 2014. She started rehab right away, but did not get full clearance for all gym activities until November. She had to play catch-up since she missed all of summer training. She was only able to do floor at her first meet in January, but added more events as the season wore on, qualifying for State, Regionals, and Westerns. DD kept coming into the gym just doing legs and cardio right after surgery, which I think helped keep her motivated to get back.
 

profmom

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Nov 18, 2011
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My son's teammate did not have the surgery but is just starting to do full workouts after having been diagnosed last February. He has kept up with strength training as much as possible and looks pretty darn good. Despite having missed just about the whole season and the summer, he is likely to do well at L9 once he's competing this year. His coach, who's been through this with other athletes, took a very cautious and conservative approach. He says the key is making sure that the kid doesn't do too much too soon in the recovery process. I think he's dialed this guy back a notch two or three times to prevent reinjury. It will likely be a long road back, but there is a road back.
 
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Stellar

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Aug 7, 2013
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My DD had surgery for OCD in elbow in May of 2014 (she was 14) Back in the gym on a limited basis in September, but not really full go until January (even then still modified skills). A few times over the years she complained that her elbow hurt (once she jammed it vaulting) but overall came back to training with no issues.

From everything I read at the time, the key to the surgery being successful is to rest after and let the lesion heal.

Good Luck!
 

dunno

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Apr 28, 2009
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Hi! My 12 year old had surgery for OCD (Osteochondritis Dissecans) in her elbow a month ago. They removed the loose fragments, debridement, and the bone was allowed to bleed out (no microfracturing necessary bc the lesion was deep enough to bleed). The plan is for my daughter to go back to gym in a month (non-weight bearing) and to stay off her elbow for 6-9 months post-surgery.

Does anyone here have an experience with this to share?
yes. go slow and follow the Doc orders.
 

esor

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May 22, 2014
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My 12 year old DD had the exact same surgery Oct 13th of this year. She was back in the gym only doing stretching and lower body conditioning 3 weeks after. She is now doing some no-handed gymnastics activities, but is on the no weight bearing regimen for 6 months as well. We had to wait a while to get her into surgery after she was diagnosed so she worked with her coaches to get a no handed/one handed beam and floor routine for L9 with a very remote chance she might be able to compete at the end of the season, but again no promises there- she knows the most important thing is to get her healthy. My DDs doc is well known and the guy we wanted to do her surgery as he is the best elbow guy around, but clearly not a fan of gymnastics - I think he's seen too many injuries with young girls. So we have had the added stress of him telling us (in front of DD) "she should stop doing gymnastics" and pick a new sport. Tears everywhere. That just isn't an option for my DD at this time - she loves her sport, her teammates and her coaches, and taking her out of the sport would be more devastating than the injury/surgery itself.

DD is doing great though all things considered - happy as a clam and really good on her range of motion! I on the other hand keep wondering if I am crazy for letting her continue, but then I stop by the gym and see the joy on her face when she is there. Mentally I know it is the right thing for her.
 
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B&M's mom

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Sep 4, 2010
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My DD avoided surgery for an elbow lesion but has had surgery on both knees for lesions. The doctor was great and thought she'd be able to come back with no issues. However, my daughter realized that her knees were way more important than gymnastics and decided to retire from the sport. She told me that even though the lesions were healed, her knees just didn't feel the same. She's moved into diving and LOVES it. So there is life after gymnastics.
 

proudgymdad

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Jan 25, 2014
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Having a doctor that understands the drive and desire of our gymnasts is really important. Elbow OCD in children generally happens to two groups: little league pitchers and gymnasts. We lucked out with our sports orthopedist. He was a high school classmate of mine who went to the University of Utah on a baseball scholarship, so if anyone was going to understand the situation, it would be him. He works with tons of high level athletes and understands that they have a completely different mindset than Joe Public.
 

flyinghigh

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Aug 25, 2015
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We just went thru this. My daughter has been off for 8 months with left arm due to OCD in left elbow. It has healed conservatively (without surgery) and she was released by her orthopedic surgeon 2 weeks ago. She still went to gym everyday tumbling with one arm. Surgery was not for her due to growth plates being wide open. She was followed with MRI's until it healed. She's L7

Good luck. It's a tough injury. We drove to see a specialist in this, he does not like gymnastics but was pleased with her results and gave her almost a full release.
 
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dunno

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and i don't like surgeries...but i've still had them. :)
 
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