Osteochondral lesions of the talus (OLT) are ankle joint injuries involving damage to the joint surface (cartilage) and/or underlying ankle bone (talus). A normal, healthy ankle joint is made up of smooth cartilage supported by strong bone underneath. Sometimes an ankle injury leads to damaged, rough areas of cartilage and bone underneath. Foot and ankle orthopaedic specialists call this type of injury an OLT. Since the ankle joint moves while walking, the rough spots may cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased motion. It is kind of like having a pothole in the joint surface.
One way to treat the damaged ankle cartilage is through surgery. One type of surgery is called mosaicplasty (MP), which is the transplant of small amounts of bone and cartilage. The primary goal of this procedure is to smooth out the surface of the ankle joint by replacing the unhealthy spots with healthy, smooth cartilage. By reconstructing the surface, pain and other symptoms should decrease or stop all together.