Frequently Asked Questions

I have recently had surgery for a fractured talus and my doctor discovered in my follow up x-ray that I have osteonecrosis. What is that and what does that mean for my recovery?

Osteonecrosis is defined on ankle and foot radiographs as increased radiographic density, relative to the adjacent osseous structures, essentially meaning that there has been interruption of the vascular supply to the bone causing bone death. Although this sounds bad, in this study it appears that the radiographic density will normalize in about half of the cases. In terms of your recovery it will be important to see if the osteonecrosis determined in your follow up x-ray revascularizes or if there is a resultant collapse of the talar dome. If the talar dome collapses there will be a higher likely hood that you will experience some form of post traumatic arthritis due to permanent changes in the bone and subsequent joint surfaces.

Heather A. Vallier, MD, et al. A New Look at the Hawkins Classification for Talar Neck Fractures: Which Features of Injury and Treatment are Predictive of Osteonecrosis? In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. February 2014. Vol. 96-A. No. 3. Pp. 192-197.

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