Characteristic MRI findings of osteochondral lesions of the talus have been reported. We examined how they change before and after treatment and discussed their significance. Twenty two ankles in 21 patients had MRI examination before and after treatment of the talar lesion. We evaluated the changes in the low intensity areas in T1-weighted image and the signal rims behind osteochondral fragment in T2-weighted image which have been reported as characteristic findings. Clinical symptoms were improved postoperatively in all subjects. The low intensity areas in T1-weighted image seen before the surgical treatment tended to decrease in size postoperatively. The low intensity area in T1-weighted image was reduced in 15 of the 22 ankles (68.2%). Low signal rim in T2-weighted image was seen in three cases before the treatment. All disappeared completely after arthroscopic drilling. Similarly, high signal rim in T2-weighted image seen in 13 cases before the treatment disappeared in 10 postoperatively. These findings were considered indicative that surgical treatments reduced abnormal stress of the underlying bone element due to unstable osteochondral fragment, leading to reduction of the low intensity area. The disappearance of signal rims in T2-weighted images was considered to indicate obliteration of the interface between the osteochondral fragment and the talar bed with bone union. We believe that MRI of the osteochondral lesion of the talus will be useful for postoperative evaluation allowing assessment of the need for further treatment. The decreasing size of low intensity areas in T1-weighted images and disappearance of signal rims behind the osteochondral fragment in T2-weighted images suggested healing of the osteochondral lesions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine