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Osteochondral Injuries of the Talus

What is a Talus Osteochondral Lesion?

Talus Osteochondral Lesion Definition

When blood supply to the area at the end of your bone is cut off, a condition known as osteochondritis dissecans may develop, also called talus osteochondral lesions. The affected bone and its covering of cartilage may stay in place and cause no symptoms. Or, a fragment may gradually loosen, separate and cause pain. Osteochondral lesions of the Talus are relatively common causes of ankle pain and disability. Trauma is the most common cause, but genetic factors are traits of OLT.

Talus Injury Symptoms

Early diagnosis and treatment of osteochondritis dissecans are important to minimize your risk of long- term disability. If you're treated promptly, your chances of recovery and return to your usual activities, including participation in sports, are good.

Signs and symptoms of Talus Osteochondritis Lesions include:

  • Pain
  • A "locking" of your joint — the joint "sticks" and won't move through its full range of motion
  • A feeling that your joint is "giving way" or weakening
  • Decreased joint movement — an inability to straighten your leg or arm fully, or limited range of motion
  • Limping
  • Swelling and tenderness of the skin over your joint
  • Stiffness after resting

Talus Osteochondral Lesion Treatment

Treatment of osteochondritis dissecans is intended to restore the normal functioning of the affected joint and to relieve pain, as well as reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. No single treatment, however, is effective for everybody.

Initially, your doctor will likely recommend conservative measures, which may include resting your joint, immobilizing your joint, using anti-inflammatory medications, avoiding competitive sports and intense physical activity, physical therapy.

An arthroscopy is minimally invasive and may be necessary in some cases. It begins when your surgeon inserts a thin scope into the joint space to visualize the area on a television monitor. The surgeon then determines the location of the damage and decides upon the best type of surgical procedure.

Talus Osteochondral Lesion Complications

If you don't receive effective treatment for osteochondritis dissecans, it's possible that degenerative osteoarthritis will develop in the affected joint.

Learn more about the Foot & Ankle Center at Resurgens Orthopaedics.  

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