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J Athl Train. 2000 Jan-Mar; 35(1): 80–85.
PMCID: PMC1323444

Atraumatic Osteochondral Fracture and Osteoarthritis in a Collegiate Volleyball Player: A Case Report

Jessica S. Baum, MS, ATC, CSCS* and Richard G. Deivert, PhD, ATC



To present the case of a collegiate athlete with an atraumatic osteochondral fracture influenced by the presence of osteoarthritis.


Osteochondral fractures are fairly common occurrences in athletes, although it can be difficult to recognize such an injury in the absence of a traumatic event. Osteoarthritis is 1 condition that can increase an athlete's susceptibility to an atraumatic osteochondral fracture. However, because of the atraumatic nature of the injury, the possibility of an osteochondral fracture may be overlooked.

Differential Diagnosis:

Meniscal damage, osteochondritis dissecans, patellofemoral disorders.


The osteochondral fragment was surgically removed, and fibrous growth was encouraged by drilling and laser smoothing.


Osteochondral fractures are usually associated with some type of traumatic mechanism, such as a rotational and compressive force. Also, osteoarthritis is not common in young collegiate athletes. However, this 20-year-old volleyball player had no apparent injury and lacked the usual signs and symptoms (eg, locking, giving way, crepitus, loss of range of motion) associated with an osteochondral fracture. The athlete's susceptibility to an osteochondral fracture was increased by the presence of osteoarthritis.


The athletic trainer should consider the possibility of an osteochondral fracture in an athlete with persistent effusion and pain in the absence of a traumatic mechanism of injury.

Full text

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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