Tarsal Coalition

Tarsal Coalition is a disorder of the hindfoot in which the joint has not formed correctly. Instead, bones or tissues hold the bones of the hindfoot together. This results in a fixed positioning of the foot with little mobility, often in a flat-footed stance. In some cases, there are no symptoms relating to tarsal coalition and the patient is unaware that they even have the condition. However, in most people, there is foot pain and noticeable flatfoot disorder that appears around adolescence. This condition is typically diagnosed upon examination and X-rays of the foot and ankle. Occasionally, more detailed imaging through an MRI or CT scan will be necessary.

Conservative treatments are often effective for tarsal coalition, including activity restriction, taking anti-inflammatory medications, using an ankle brace and switching to more supportive shoes. If these therapies do not relieve symptoms, surgery may be required. When only a portion of the joint is problematic, a resection may be performed to remove just that area. When the symptoms are severe or the entire joint is affected, a subtalar fusion may be performed to fuse the joint together.

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