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Foot Ankle Spec. 2014 Oct;7(5):414-22. doi: 10.1177/1938640014543362. Epub 2014 Aug 5.

Osteochondral lesions of the talus: a current concepts review and evidence-based treatment paradigm.

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Foot and Ankle Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York.
Foot and Ankle Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York


Osteochondral lesions of the talar dome are increasingly diagnosed and are a difficult pathology to treat. Conservative treatment yields best results in pediatric patients, often leaving surgical options for adult populations. There is a paucity of long-term data and comparisons of treatment options. Arthroscopic bone marrow stimulation is a common first-line treatment for smaller lesions. Despite promising short to medium term clinical results, bone marrow stimulation results in fibrocartilagenous tissue that incurs differing mechanical and biological properties compared with normal cartilage. Autologous osteochondral transplantation has demonstrated promising clinical results in the short to medium term for larger, cystic lesions and can restore the contact pressure of the joint. However, concerns remain over postoperative cyst formation and donor site morbidity. Recent developments have emphasized the usefulness of biological adjuncts such as platelet-rich plasma and concentrated bone marrow aspirate, as well as particulate juvenile cartilage, in augmenting reparative and replacement strategies in osteochondral lesion treatment. The purpose of this article is to review diagnosis and treatment of talar osteochondral lesions so that current practice guidelines can be more efficiently used given the available treatment strategies. A treatment paradigm based on current evidence is described.


Therapeutic, Level V, Expert Opinion.


autologous osteochondral transplant; bone marrow aspirate; bone marrow stimulation; osteochondral lesion; platelet-rich plasma

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