Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky Breaks a Leg

People magazine is reporting that former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky is sporting crutches after fracturing her femur while kickboxing. Although she originally thought she had torn a ligament in her knee, an MRI revealed a fracture, which was a result of a osteochondral defect in the cartilage in her leg. Fedotowsky’s rep says that she will likely undergo surgery to repair the defect. It is unknown how this will affect her upcoming wedding plans with Bachelorette contestant, now fiancé, Roberto Martinez.

An osteochondral defect (sometimes referred to as a OCD) is an area of damaged cartilage  in a joint. The bone underneath may also be involved. The knee, which is the largest joint in the body, is the most common location for OCD.

The knee is made up of four main bones- the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone), fibula (outer shin bone) and patella (kneecap). The main movements of the knee joint occur between the femur, patella and tibia.

Each are covered in cartilage which is an extremely hard, smooth substance designed to decrease the friction as movement occurs between the bones.

It is thought that OCD is caused by repeated injury to the joint. The symptoms of OCD include:

  • feeling like the joint “locks” on and off
  • recurrent fluid in the joint
  • creakiness or crunchiness in the joint
  • persistent pain

For small OCD lesions arthroscopic surgery may be used to clean up the cartilage. For larger defects, or ones that arthroscopic surgery is unable to repair, several open surgical procedures are possible, including microfracture, autologous chondrocyte implantation(ACI) and osteochondral autograft (OCG).

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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