Osteochondral Defect of the Talus

    Ankle pain can really hold you back. If one takes three to five thousand steps a day that’s 3-5000 times that your ankle can hurt you daily. That is a painful way to live. There are many reasons for ankle pain. One that we specialize in here at the Advanced Foot And Ankle Center Of San Diego is Osteochondral Defect of the Talus.

    As you can see from the video above this is a treatable condition. However one must realize that not many doctors are trained in and not many doctors have much experience in doing these procedures.

    The first challenge is getting the diagnosis. Once one is evaluated in the office an x-ray is helpful in pointing us in the right direction. Many times the x-ray is insufficient, the next step is an MRI. The MRI is more specific for cartilage disorders. As can be seen below the dome of the talus has lost its natural contour and there is a defect of the cartilage of the ankle joint.

    OCD Talus MRI
    Osteochondral Defect of the Talus MRI

    Once a diagnosis is made, then based on the size and position of the defect as well as pain levels associated with the defect then one can make an informed decision with their surgeon as to the proper treatment. This article is only about surgery because the defect does not repair itself and does not self-heal. Either you have pain or you don’t.

    The technique I would like to share with you is performing a medial malleolar osteotomy to access the talus and properly repair the defect. In my opinion, this is the only way to fully visualize the talus and repair the cartilage. Using arthroscopy or any small camera will not reach far back into the joint to visualize is well enough. And if you can not see what you are repairing then you can not repair it.

    We use special cryopreserved cartilage that is called cartiform. This implant has been highly successful in my hands in repairing cartilage injuries of the foot and ankle.

    Medial malleolar osteotomy for Osteochondral defect of the talus

    Above you can see in the picture the injured cartilage that is lifted off the bone.

    cartiform cartilage graft
    Repaired Osteochondral defect of the talus with cartilage graft

    Above you will see the cartiform placed over the area of the talus that had the cartilage injury.

    Ankle injuries can be very serious and should not be ignored. Come in today for your evaluation.