The Softening & Breaking of Your Ankle’s Cartilage - What You Need to Know

The world of sports has been a cornerstone of the entertainment industry since it was introduced by the ancient Greeks nearly 3000 years ago. It has borne names like Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky and countless others, each with their own story and list of accomplishments. However, these legends aren’t without their scars, as sports result in millions of injuries every year. Twenty percent of sports injuries are sprained ankles, which, if not treated properly, can result in much more severe conditions. One such condition is talar dome lesions, which refers to damage that is done to your ankle’s cartilage. We’ll be taking a closer look at this condition, what causes it, and what you can do if it is affecting you.

What Is a Talar Dome Lesion?

If you take a look at your ankle joint, which is located at the bottom of your shin (tibia)

you’ll see the top of the talus bone, which is dome-shaped. Within this dome, there is cartilage which allows your ankle to move smoothly. This is what gives you the range-of-motion and flexibility you are used to. When this cartilage becomes damaged, you get a talar dome lesion. If the cartilage does not heal properly following an injury to the ankle joint, it will soften up and break off causing ankle pain. If you suspect that you have a talar dome lesion, it is important to book an appointment with us, your local podiatrist located in Ogden and Farmington to get an assessment done of your ankle.

What Causes Talar Dome Lesions & What Are The Symptoms?

The most common cause of talar dome lesions occur in patients who experience a traumatic injury to the ankle. This could be an ankle sprain from weight bearing forces, a traumatic landing with an ankle twist, or trauma from an automobile accident. It can also occur in individuals who wear inappropriate footwear or have poor foot biomechanics that put them at risk.

It is unlikely that you will experience any symptoms right away, as talar dome lesions can take months to years to develop. If and when you do suspect that you have a talar dome lesion, look out for the following symptoms.

  • Pain that develops deep in the ankle that does not go away.

  • Pain that gets worse when bearing weight on the foot and goes away with rest.

  • An ankle that gives out or locks when you are doing regular activities.

  • An ankle that catches or clicks when walking.