Osteochondral Lesion of the Talus

Osteochondral Lesion of the Talus (OLT, OCD, Osteochondritis Dissecans)

The talus is the uppermost bone in the foot that is completely covered with cartilage to allow for smooth movement of the ankle joint. When the ankle joint is injured, the cartilage may be torn, leading to an osteochondral lesion. Symptoms tend to develop gradually and include:

  • Chronic pain in the ankle
  • Clicking or catching when walking
  • Feeling that the ankle will give out
  • Swelling

Treatment for osteochondral lesions usually begins with conservative methods including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, immobilization, physical therapy and ankle bracing. If these methods fail to relieve the symptoms, surgery may be needed. Surgery involves removing the loose cartilage or bone within the joint.

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