Osteochondral ankle injuries are painful and may require surgery if not treated early. This damage to the ankle is typically caused by trauma. Read on for more information regarding an osteochondral ankle injury and how it can be treated.

What Does Osteochondral Mean?

Osteochondral can be an unfamiliar word, so we begin with a definition. Osteo refers to the bones, and chondral refers to the cartilage. Osteochondral means bone and cartilage. These injuries involve both.

The ankle is made up of leg bones, the tibia and fibula, and the talus bone, as well as the cartilage binding the bones together. The tibia and fibula make up the top part of the ankle, and the cartilage connects them to the talus bone.

What is an Osteochondral Ankle Injury?

An osteochondral ankle injury is a piece of bone that has broken off, combined with cartilage, that lodges in the ankle joint. While the affected bone is usually the talus, it can also be from the bottom of the shin bone, or the tibia.

The primary symptom of an osteochondral ankle injury is pain in the ankle. The joint may swell or feel tender to the touch. In addition, the ankle will have trouble bearing weight.

The injury will be confirmed as an osteochondral ankle injury by the doctor. The injury is confirmed through x-rays, CT scans and MRI scans. The MRI is the most thorough image because the doctor can see cartilage and bone damage.

How Does Someone Get an Osteochondral Ankle Injury?

Doctors are not sure what causes osteochondral ankle injuries. However, they agree that talus bone injuries, poor circulation or any local pathology are connected to these injuries. It could be a metabolic nature or repeated or severe trauma. Finally, a badly sprained ankle can lead to an osteochondral ankle injury, and the symptoms differ mostly due to the intensity of the pain.

Can an Osteochondral Ankle Injury be Repaired?

Treatment for an injury of this type includes surgical and non-surgical options. Treatment is determined by the injury.

The most effective treatment may involve both types of care for the best outcome. Injuries are individual, and treatment is tailored to the patient.

An orthopedic specialist can provide the most complete care from diagnosis to rehab. Contact the office of Dr. Steven Struhl and get your osteochondral ankle injury repaired and rehabilitated.