What is Osteocndral Cartilage Lesion?
When the ankle or knee joint is injured, the cartilage may rupture or break, leading to a condition called an osteondral lesion. In severe cases, the cartilage part may break off and liberalize in the joint (joint mouse). This causes pain and swelling in the ankle and knee, and if left untreated, it can cause arthritis in the joint.
What are the Symptoms of Osteocndral Cartilage Lesion?
Symptoms of osteocndral lesions tend to develop slowly and may not be immediately noticed. It usually causes the following;
- Chronic pain in the knee and ankle
- Feeling of clicking or hanging out while walking
Symptoms are usually worse when given weight and are not so severe when resting. As this condition progresses, symptoms may worsen if there are loose cartilage or bone fragments. If left untreated, osteocndral lesions can cause chronic pain and swelling and eventually limit joint movement.
How to Diagnose Osteocndral Cartilage Lesion?
To diagnose osteochondral cartilage lesion, your doctor will perform a physical examination and assess the stability of the joint. The doctor may request the following tests;
- X-rays that will show the bone locate the lesion and reveal its size.
- Magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI): Produces clear images of the affected cartilage and can indicate whether the separated bone and cartilage move into the joint cavity.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan: Clearly reveals the bone boundaries of the lesion.
What are the Treatment Options in Osteokondral Cartilage Lesion?
After the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment may consist of non-surgical or surgical methods. The characteristics of the treatment will probably depend on the nature of the osteocndral cartilage lesion, the presence of other injuries and patient characteristics.
It is suitable for certain lesions and usually involves reducing rest and loading. This can be followed by weight carrying and the gradual progression of physical therapy. The purpose of non-surgical treatment is to heal the injured cartilage and bone.
Other lesions can be treated more appropriately with surgery. The purpose of the surgery is to restore the normal shape of the joint face and the slip surface to recreate normal mechanical and joint forces. The aim is to minimize symptoms and limit the risk of developing arthritis.
Depending on the characteristics and position of the osteocndral cartilage leosion, it can be performed arthroscopically or mini-open surgery. In arthroscopy, it uses a camera and small tools to view and work the joint through small incisions. Due to the size or location of the lesion, it may not be possible to treat certain lesions arthroscopically appropriately. Treatments may include debridement (removal of injured cartilage and bone), fixing the injured part, microfracture or puncture of the lesion, and/or bone and cartilage transfer, or treatment with replicated cartilage cells impregnated with special roof implants.