Published online Jul 18, 2014. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v5.i3.171
Revised: April 2, 2014
Accepted: May 16, 2014
Published online: July 18, 2014
Symptomatic chondral or osteochondral defects of the talus reduce the quality of life of many patients. Although their pathomechanism is well understood, it is well known that different aetiologic factors play a role in their origin. Additionally, it is well recognised that the talar articular cartilage strongly differs from that in the knee. Despite this fact, many recommendations for the management of talar cartilage defects are based on approaches that were developed for the knee. Conservative treatment seems to work best in paediatric and adolescent patients with osteochondritis dissecans. However, depending on the size of the lesions, surgical approaches are necessary to treat many of these defects. Bone marrow stimulation techniques may achieve good results in small lesions. Large lesions may be treated by open procedures such as osteochondral autograft transfer or allograft transplantation. Autologous chondrocyte transplantation, as a restorative procedure, is well investigated in the knee and has been applied in the talus with increasing popularity and promising results but the evidence to date is poor. The goals of the current article are to summarise the different options for treating chondral and osteochondral defects of the talus and review the available literature.
Core tip: The goals of the current article are to summarise the different options for treating chondral and osteochondral defects of the talus and review the available literature.