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In a retrospective study of thirty-one ankles in twenty-nine patients with osteochondral lesions, we found that lateral lesions were associated with inversion or inversion-dorsiflexion trauma, were morphologically shallow, and were more likely to become displaced in the joint and to have persistent symptoms. Medial lesions were both traumatic and atraumatic in origin, morphologically deep, and less symptomatic. Using the classification system of Berndt and Harty, it appeared that Stage-I and Stage-II lesions should be treated non-operatively, regardless of location. Stage-III medial lesions should be treated non-operatively initially but if symptoms persist surgical excision and curettage are indicated. Stage-III lateral lesions and all Stage-IV lesions should be treated by early operation. Long-term results indicated that few lesions unite when treated non-operatively. Degenerative changes in the ankle joint, whether symptomatic or not, were common (50 per cent of the ankles) regardless of the type of treatment.