Original Articles

Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 112, Issue 1, pp 23-27

First online:

Osteochondrosis dissecans of the talus

Comparison of results of surgical treatment in adolescents and adults
  • J. BrunsAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Hamburg
  • , B. RosenbachAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, Allgemeines Krankenhaus

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Clinical results in two groups of patients treated for osteochondrosis dissecans tali were examined in a follow-up examination: adolescents up to age 16 years versus adults. Thirteen patients were reexamined in each group. Clinical comparison revealed distinct differences between the groups. In adolescents there were eight excellent and three good results, only one fair, and one poor result. In contrast, adults demonstrated excellent results in only two and good results in five patients; five patients showed fair results and one a poor outcome. No signs of osteoarthrosis were detected in adolescents whereas in four adult patients slight radiological signs of osteoarthritis were visible. In both groups clinical and radiological results were better when the cartilage layer at the talar dome was found to be intact at the time of surgical intervention. Detectable cartilage damage at the time of operation was accompanied by a worse result at the time of follow-up examination. In conclusion, adolescents without any signs of joint locking or loose body formation should first be treated conservatively. The older the patient the shorter the period of nonsurgical treatment should be. In cases of increasing stages, joint locking, or formation of loose bodies surgical intervention is recommended.