Lesions of the Talus: Managing Ankle Discomfort
Lesions can develop anywhere on your body. Most people are familiar with spots on their skin—they’re visible and easy to identify. However, you can also develop lesions inside your body, out of sight, where they can go unnoticed and cause worse damage. In your ankle, lesions of the talus can impair your joint movement if they aren’t addressed.
Spots on Bones
Lesions of the talus, medically known as osteochondral lesions, are injuries to the cartilage and bone of the talus, or ankle bone. This covers a wide variety of problems, such as “blisters” in the cartilage, cysts in the bone, or even fractures. These problems can develop in different ways, too. They could be the result of a single, traumatic injury, or the consequence of a repeated problem. Ankle sprains, heavy falls, and accidents are the most common causes of this condition.
Symptoms include pain, especially along the sides of the ankle. You may notice swelling around the joint and your foot may feel unstable. If a piece of cartilage has pulled loose and caught in the joint, your foot may “catch” when you try to move it—or not want to bend at all. Typically the discomfort persists longer than a simple ankle injury; the talus doesn’t heal as easily as other bones. Because so much of the bone is covered in cartilage, and blood supply isn’t as rich in this area as others, recovery is slow and may not take place at all if you do not treat the problem.
Best Options for Care
Catching lesions of the talus to treat them properly requires a full evaluation of the feet and ankles. Our podiatrists will need to carefully examine your lower limbs to rule out other possible causes for your discomfort. Akmal Atmar, D.P.M. will use various diagnostic images to try to see the damage to your talus. Once the affected spot has been identified and properly diagnosed, you’ll need full treatment to restore your ankle.
Many lesions can be addressed using noninvasive measures. Your foot will most likely need to be immobilized for a time to restrict motion that may aggravate the condition. In some cases, you may need to avoid weight-bearing as well. This period of rest will allow the tissues to heal. Then, as you recover, physical therapy can help restore your range of motion and joint strength. However, if the injury isn’t found early enough, complications may have already developed. Complex lesions will require surgery to correct any bone displacement or clean out cysts.
Your ankle is a key joint, and you need it to stay strong and stable to maintain your mobility. Ankle pain can sharply limit your walking and ability to participate in regular activities. Most injuries, even lesions of the talus, can be treated and resolved using conservative measures if they are caught quickly enough, though. Don’t wait if you struggle with persistent discomfort in your ankle. Let Akmal Atmar, D.P.M. in NY diagnose the issue and resolve it. You can request an appointment or more information by calling (516) 741-FEET or using our online request form.
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