Osteochondral Lesions of the Ankle

A common cause of ankle pain is a condition called osteochondral lesions of the ankle. These are injuries to the cartilage within the ankle joint either due to trauma (such as an ankle sprain or ankle fracture) or microtrauma (repetitive high impact activity).


Symptoms include pain, swelling, and a catching or locking sensation within the ankle joint. X-ray imaging may or may not show a bone fragment within the ankle joint. A CT or MRI may be ordered to further evaluate the osteochondral lesion. The CT or MRI will show the size and extent of the injury.


Treatment varies with the size, extent, and displacement of the injury. Acute injuries or nondisplaced fragments may be treated with a non weight bearing cast for 6 weeks. Displaced fragments or large lesions may require surgery to repair the fragment with a small screw or replace the fragment with a graft. Chronic injuries or small lesions may require arthroscopy and a procedure called microfracture or drilling of the base of the lesion to promote cartilage healing.


Without proper treatment this injury may lead to arthritis of the ankle joint.


Your foot and ankle specialist at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center in Mckinney and Prosper TX will perform a thorough examination along with x-rays and other imaging depending on your symptoms and timeline of injury. Call us today at 972-542-2155 to set up your appointment!


Look out for our next blog post about Ankle Joint arthritis, Peroneal Tendon injuries, and other related conditions.