What this skeleton told us: Evidence
An 11 to 12 year old child with a well preserved skeleton and both milk and adult teeth present. The thigh bones (femurs) show osteochondritis dissecans.
Interpretation of the evidence
Child mortality was likely high in Anglo-Britain. This child probably died from a communicable disease (infection). Osteochondritis dissecans today usually affects young boys/teenagers in sport (injury to the joint). The cartilage covering the joint (a ‘padding’ for the bones) and the underlying bone on the elbow joint has been affected. The blood supply to the joint is compromised and this leads to death of the bone and the cartilage that protects it. This condition could cause swelling and pain and restricted movement, and later in life this can lead to osteoarthritis.