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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Kohler disease


Other Names for this Disease
  • Aseptic necrosis of the tarsal bone
  • Kohler's Disease
  • Kohler's Disease of the Tarsal Navicular
  • Kohler's Osteochondrosis of the Tarsal Navicular
  • Navicular Osteochondrosis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

What is Kohler disease? Also what's the difference between "osteochondrosis" and "osteonecrosis?"

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is Kohler disease?

Kohler disease is a condition that affects a bone at the arch of the foot called the tarsal navicular bone. X-rays show that this bone is initially compressed and later breaks into pieces before healing and hardening back into bone. It occurs most frequently in children between the ages of 5 and 10 years. Signs and symptoms of the condition include swelling, redness and/or tenderness of the affected foot which can lead to a limp or abnormal gait (style of walking). Although the exact underlying cause of Kohler disease is unknown, some scientists suspect that it may be caused by excessive strain on the tarsal navicular bone and its associated blood vessels before the bone is completely ossified (hardened). The condition typically resolves on its own with or without treatment; however, pain relievers, rest, avoidance of weight-bearing activities, and/or casting may be recommended to help manage symptoms.[1][2]
Last updated: 2/18/2014

What is osteochondrosis?

Kohler disease is considered a type of osteochondrosis, which refers to a group of conditions that affect immature skeletal systems. In people affected by osteochondrosis, an ossification center undergoes degeneration (breakdown) followed by calcification. An ossification center is a point within a developing bone where bone formation (ossification) begins. Osteochondrosis most commonly affects the epiphyses of long bones in children.[3]

Last updated: 2/18/2015

What is osteonecrosis?

Osteonecrosis is a medical term that refers to bone death caused by reduced blood flow to the bones of the joints. This condition can occur in virtually any bone of the body; however, the upper leg, upper arm, knee, shoulder and ankle are the most commonly affected. Although men and women of all ages can develop this condition, it generally occurs in people between the ages of thirty and fifty.[4]

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers printed materials on osteonecrosis which includes information on its symptoms, causes, and treatment. You can view this information at the link below.
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Osteonecrosis/osteonecrosis_ff.asp

More information on osteonecrosis can be found at the following link from MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine Web site designed to help you research your health questions.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007260.htm
Last updated: 2/18/2015

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • Aseptic necrosis of the tarsal bone
  • Kohler's Disease
  • Kohler's Disease of the Tarsal Navicular
  • Kohler's Osteochondrosis of the Tarsal Navicular
  • Navicular Osteochondrosis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.