Osteochondral lesions refer to areas of damaged bone and cartilage in a joint. These lesions are frequently seen in the ankle, but can also present in other joints of the foot, including the subtalar joint, the transverse tarsal joints and the great toe. They are sometimes referred to osteochondritis dissicans or osteochondral defects.
This is a picture of an area of damaged cartilage in the ankle. The talus is more frequently injured than the tibia. This damage can occur after an ankle sprain or after more severe ankle injuries. Treatment includes non-operative measures, such as anti-inflammatories, steroid injections, physical therapy, and bracing. If non-operative treatment fails, then surgery can be pursued.