Talar dome lesions, also known as osteochondral defects or osteochondral lesions of the talus, are injuries that affect both the cartilage and bones within your ankle joint. Here are five things you need to know about talar dome lesions.
What causes talar dome lesions?
The talus bone is one of the bones that makes up your ankle joints. This bone is connected to your tibia, the bone in your lower leg. The top portion of the talus bone is dome-shaped and its surface is covered with cartilage. This cartilage serves to cushion the bones.
This injury may occur following acute trauma. Ankle injuries, such as sprains or fractures, may damage this area. After your sprain or fracture heals, you may be left with problems such as lesions on the bone beneath your cartilage, brittle cartilage, detached fragments of bone, or fractures of the cartilage.
Acute trauma isn't the only thing that can cause talar dome lesions. Repetitive stress injuries may also result in this condition. Injuries such as stress fractures or chronic lateral ankle instability may have this effect. Even some medications, such as steroids, can have this effect on your ankle.
How common are talar dome lesions?
Talar dome lesions are quite common in people who have suffered previous ankle injuries. As many as 15 percent of people who have experienced a severe ankle sprain or an ankle fracture will later develop talar dome lesions.
What are the signs of talar dome lesions?
The main signs of talar dome lesions are pain and stiffness within your ankle joint. You may also feel like your ankle is catching or locking. This pain tends to be worse during activity or when you try to rotate your ankle.
Many people try to ignore these symptoms, and consequently, the diagnosis is frequently made after a person has already suffered for several months. If you notice these symptoms, see your podiatrist right away so the treatment can begin promptly.
What conservative therapies are available?
If you have minor talar dome lesions, conservative therapies may be appropriate for you. Your podiatrist will immobilize your ankle with a non-weightbearing cast, and you will need to wear this for about four weeks. After your cast comes off, you will gradually begin to bear weight on your ankle. Your podiatrist may refer you to a physiotherapist who can teach you helpful stretches and exercises that will help your ankle heal.
When is surgery required?
If conservative therapies are not enough to ease your symptoms, your podiatrist may recommend surgical treatment. Many different surgical procedures are available, depending on the extent of your injury.
For minor injuries, arthroscopic surgery may be performed. This type of surgery involves using an arthroscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera at one end, to view your ankle joint. Only a small incision is required for this procedure. Your podiatrist can re-attach loose pieces of bone or cartilage and debride (remove) irreparably damaged tissue during this procedure.
If your talar dome lesions are large and severe, you may require more invasive surgical treatment. Your podiatrist may need to perform open surgery, which involves making a large incision so that your ankle joint is visible. Once the joint is visible, the lesions can be repaired.
While you're recovering from surgery, your ankle will be immobilized in a cast. Once the cast comes off, you may be referred to a physiotherapist.
If your ankle joints are sore or swollen after a sprain or fracture has healed, you may have talar dome lesions. Make an appointment with a podiatrist at a clinic like Elmhurst Podiatry Center Ltd to discuss your concerns and begin treatment, if appropriate.Share
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