Osteochondral lesions of the talus (OLT) are a well-known cause of ankle joint pain and can sometimes lead to instability. These lesions are not only confined to articular hyaline cartilage, they can also affect the subchondral bone at the weight-bearing aspect of the talar dome. Nonoperative treatment is the preferred option for small lesions, however surgical intervention is recommended for large lesions or those for which conservative treatment has failed. Microfracture, abrasion arthroplasty and multiple drilling are all classified as bone marrow stimulation procedures; they are used to try to recruit precursor cells for cartilage regeneration and are especially suitable for small OLT lesions. For large lesions, osteochondral autografting and allografting are better options to reconstruct the articular defect, as they have better contours and mechanical strength. When there is limited subchondral bone involvement in large lesions, cell-based therapies such as autogenous chondrocyte implantation, potentially combined with a biomaterial matrix, are a promising option and acceptable functional outcomes have been reported. To provide evidence-based recommendations for clinicians, this article evaluates the currently available treatment strategies for OLT and their evolution over the past few decades.
- Osteochondral lesion
ASJC Scopus subject areas