What is a Tarsal Coalition?
A tarsal coalition is a congenital condition in which bones of the foot fail to separatean extra bone in the foot that some people are born with. It is a common condition, found in approximately 12% of the population. In the majority of patients it causes no symptoms.
What causes a tarsal coalition?
A tarsal coalition is a congenital condition in which there is a failure of separation of bones during development. The bridge between the two bones can be fibrous or bone.
What are the symptoms of a tarsal coalition?
Patients with a tarsal coalition often have no symptoms and the patients are even unaware that they have the condition. For some patients there is foot pain and a flatfoot disorder that presents during adolescence.
How is a tarsal coalition diagnosed?
A tarsal coalition is diagnosed by thorough history and physical examination. X-rays are typically ordered to look for the presence of the coalition. An MRI and/or CT may also be useful to assess for a suspected coalition not seen on X-ray or to assess the size of the coalition.
How is a tarsal coalition treated?
Conservative treatment for a tarsal coalition is often effective and is focused on resting the area and is often achieved with use of a cast or walking boot, ice, activity modification and anti-inflammatory medications.
Operative treatment can be necessary in patients who fail conservative therapy. Surgery for a tarsal coalition can involve resecting just the coalition if only a portion f the joint is involved. If the entire joint is involved or arthritis has developed, a fusion may be performed.