What are the Warning Signs of Osteochondral Lesions

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What are the Warning Signs of Osteochondral Lesions


Damages to the talus that affect the bone and the cartilage overlaying the bone are called osteochondral lesions. Other names for these wounds include osteochondritis dissecans and osteochondral fractures. Damage may include a weakening of the cartilaginous layers, cyst-like diseases inside the bone beneath the cartilage, or even a break of the bone and cartilage layers themselves. In this text, we will refer to these conditions as talar osteochondral lesions. The Orthopedic specialists at Doral Health & Wellness can assist you further if necessary, with evaluation and treatment.


It typically develops following trauma to the foot, either in the form of a single event or a series of smaller injuries. Common signs and symptoms include persistent discomfort, inflammation, stiffness, and/or inability to bear weight on the affected ankle. In other cases, symptoms may be difficult to pin down. Treatment for an ankle sprain, for example, should alleviate the early discomfort and swelling (rest, elevation). If your discomfort has persisted for more than a few months despite reasonable care, you may have acquired osteochondral lesions. 

The outside or inside aspect of your ankle joint may be where you feel the most pain. An extensive tissue and bone lesion or even a loosened portion of cartilaginous or free bone inside the joint may cause serious lockup or catch symptoms when the foot locks up and will not flex. 

Factors and Causes 

Injuries to the joint, such as sprains of the ankle or knee, and especially those involving excessive twisting, are the most common causes of osteochondral lesions. Players of soccer, football, rugby, and golf may be at an increased risk for osteochondral lesions. The origin of these lesions is unclear, however, genetic susceptibility has been implicated. Particularly in youngsters, they may have a genetic component, although faulty bone development is also a possible reason. These lesions have been linked to both repetitive trauma and chronic inflammation. 


If you have osteochondritis dissecans, your chances of getting arthritis in that joint are higher than average. 

Reasons to seek a physician’s help 

Visit a medical professional if you have ongoing discomfort in your knees, elbows, or any other joints. Joint swelling or limited range of motion in a joint are also symptoms that warrant a call to or visit the doctor. 


Teens who play organized sports could benefit from learning about the dangers of repetitive stress injuries. Athletes can reduce their risk of injury by spending time learning the rules and strategies of their game, by always using safety equipment, and by regularly engaging in strength and balance exercises. 

If you have been detected to have osteochondral lesions or would just like additional information, the Orthopedists at Doral Health & Wellness are ready to assist. Our Orthopedic specialists will recommend a physical therapist to help you manage pain, get back in shape, and stay motivated to maintain a healthy routine. Transportation to Doral Health & Wellness is convenient, with numerous bus lines, train lines, and a skyway. Contact us at 1-347-384-5690 or info@doralhw.org to learn more. Our office is located at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11212 if you happen to be around.

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