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Osteochondritis of the Talus

Osteochondritis of the Talus

Osteochondritis is a painful disease of the joint where the cartilage or bone in a joint is inflamed. It is a condition that can affect many of the bones and joints of the foot.

Osteochondritis of the talus affects the supero-Iateral and supero-medial corners of the talus. It usually presents in children in the age range of 10 to 14 years with pain and swelling around the ankle. The condition is more common in boys. There may be a history of trauma although the aetiology is thought to be an avascular event. The lesion can often be defined on plain xrays although an MRI scan is more sensitive and descriptive.

Initial treatment consists of modification of activities. In some instances symptoms persist either because of a loose body or a failure of the fragmented articular surface to heal. In these situations surgery may be indicated either to remove the loose bodies or debride or graft the areas of chondral damage.