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TALAR OSTEOCHONDRAL LESION                                             KANDILNOTES


  • A talar osteochondral lesion (OLT) is a relatively common finding 

  • It is characterized by an injury of the bone under a piece of cartilage in the talus bone of the ankle joint

  •  OLTs are at risk of becoming unstable and dislodging into the joint if not treated properly

  • 10% of OLTs are bilateral, found on both ankles


  • Common OLT causes include trauma especially ankle fractures or sprains, blood supply problems, genetics, and possibly overuse or microtrauma


  • Pain and/or swelling in the ankle 

  • Oftentimes associated with mechanical symptoms like catching and popping

  • Pain is usually worse after activity but can also be present at rest


  • Treatment of OLT is dependent on multiple factors including patient age, size of lesion, and whether the OLT is stable or unstable

  • For small, stable OLTs, treatment is often conservative as there is a higher likelihood of healing. Treatment consists of rest, avoiding repetitive jumping or load bearing, bracing or casting

  • For larger, unstable OLTs, surgery is often recommended and consists of multiple options such as drilling to stimulate bone healing, OLT osteochondral grafting, or cartilage reconstruction procedures. 


  • The best way to prevent this condition from becoming unstable is to rest and avoid repetitive activities that overload the ankle

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