Osteochondral lesions of the talus are uncommon sources of ankle pain in athletes that can occur after traumatic ankle sprains. They are often found incidentally on ankle x-rays obtained for ankle sprains or to rule out ankle fractures. In patients and athletes with pain in the ankle joint from a presumed ankle sprain but with persistent symptoms, x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs can reveal the diagnosis.
The lesion itself is an injury to the cartilage and subchondral bone within the ankle joint. They can occur laterally on the talus or medially.
Treatment of an osteochondral lesion of the talus
Some of these lesions can be treated nonoperatively with immobilization and limitation of weightbearing. If the fragment is displaced, surgery is usually required. Surgery can consist of arthroscopically drilling the lesion or performing a microfracture of it. Depending on the size and location, using a cylinder of bone and cartilage from the patient or from a donor might be needed.
Return to sports with this ankle injury
Return to sports depends on healing of the lesion, but this is a significant surgery. Return to sports in the same season is unlikely, as it can take many months to get back to full running and athletic activities.
I want to help you! Please take a few seconds to share the biggest challenge or struggle you’re facing with your injury! Click here!
Recommended Products and Resources
Click here to go to Dr. David Geier’s Amazon Influencer store!
Due to a large number of questions I have received over the years asking about products for health, injuries, performance, and other areas of sports, exercise, work and life, I have created an Amazon Influencer page. While this information and these products are not intended to treat any specific injury or illness you have, they are products I use personally, have used or have tried, or I have recommended to others. THE SITE MAY OFFER HEALTH, FITNESS, NUTRITIONAL AND OTHER SUCH INFORMATION, BUT SUCH INFORMATION IS DESIGNED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THE CONTENT DOES NOT AND IS NOT INTENDED TO CONVEY MEDICAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR, NOR DOES IT REPLACE, PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. THE SITE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ACTIONS OR INACTION ON A USER’S PART BASED ON THE INFORMATION THAT IS PRESENTED ON THE SITE. Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.