Reporting of Morphology, Location, and Size in the Treatment of Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus in 11,785 Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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OBJECTIVE: Uniformity of reporting is a requisite to be able to compare results of clinical studies on the treatment of osteochondral lesions of the talus (OLT). The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency and quality of reporting of size, morphology, and location of OLTs.

DESIGN: A literature search was performed from 1996 to 2023 to identify clinical studies on surgical treatment of OLTs. Screening was performed by 2 reviewers, who subsequently graded the quality using the methodological index for non-randomized studies (MINORS). The primary outcome was the frequency and qualitative assessment of reporting of size, morphology, and location.

RESULTS: Of 3,074 articles, 262 articles were included. This comprised a total of 11,785 patients. Size was reported in 248 (95%) of the articles and was described with a measure for surface area in 83%, however, in 56%, definition of measurement is unknown. Intraclass coefficient (ICC) value for the reliability of size measurement was 0.94 for computed tomography (CT) scan and 0.87 for MRI scan. Morphology was reported in 172 (66%) of the articles and using a classification system in 23% of the studies. Location was reported in 220 (84%) of the studies.

CONCLUSION: No consensus was found on the reporting of morphology, with non-validated classification systems and different terminologies used. For location, reporting in 9 zones is underreported. Size was well reported and measurements are more reliable for CT compared with MRI. As these prognostic factors guide clinical decision-making, we advocate the development of a standardized and validated OLT classification to reach uniform reporting in literature.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, systematic review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19476035241229026
Early online date16 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2024


  • ankle
  • cartilage repair
  • osteochondral lesions
  • reportage
  • talus

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