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Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus (OLT)


Osteochondritis dessicans. Osteochondral fractures. These are two other names for this condition affecting both the bottom of the ankle bone (talus) and overlying cartilage. Find out what symptoms to watch for and when to seek treatment.

Causes & Triggers

  • Injury
  • Repeated trauma
  • Sprains

Signs & Symptoms

  • Instability
  • Locked or frozen ankle
  • Prolonged pain inside or outside the ankle joint
  • Swelling

Tips & Treatment

  • Persistent pain even after decreased use and rest following an ankle sprain could be a sign of OLT.
  • With OLT, the injured cartilage may blister or form lesions, as well as fracture the bone.
  • Surgery may be likely and can include removal of injured bone or cartilage, and grafting of bone and/or cartilage.
  • Patients can expect to be unable to bear weight and/or be immobilized for several weeks or months.
  • Physical therapy also may be prescribed.

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