What Is A Tarsal Coalition?
Tarsal coalition is a problem of the back part of the foot which causes motion abnormality. This occurs because the bones of the back part of the foot are fused together.
Genetics and injuries are the causes of this condition.
Coalitions are classified based on the type of tissue that binds the bones together: fibrous/scar tissue or osseous/bone, and the involved bones: talonavicular ,talocalcaneal, calcaneonavicular.
Clinical Features Of Tarsal Coalition
The most common symptoms among the patients who suffer from tarsal coalition are pain and muscle spasms. The pain can affect the entire foot but can also affect localy, the back part of the foot. Arthritis may appeared in the back part of the foot. Finally, Flat Foot can also be a result of this condition. That’s because the heel bone may be pushed into the ankle bone, leading to tendons’ irritation, causing severe arch pain.
Some coalitions are visible on Xray, MRI and CT. But we can’t see all of them with advanced imaging. Flat Feet, when is present, is a warning sing for the doctor to examine further the condition.
Treatments For Tarsal Coalition
Depending on patient’s health, symptoms and severity of the coalition, we can treat the condition non-surgical, to decrease/eliminate the pain or with surgery.
Simple Treatments Patients Can Do:
- Wear proper supportive shoes, ideally, with wide toe box and cushion
- Use an extra arch support
- If patient is overweight, he must lose some of his weight
- Prescribe an oral anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and inflammation
- Give also cortisone injection, because it immediately reduces pain caused by an inflamed area
NOTICE: This is not a permanent solution to the problem. The pain relief is often temporary
- Prescribe custom foot orthotics and protective pads. A custom foot orthotic provides additional support. Furthermore, protective pads prevent physical irritation between the shoe and the ball of the foot.
- Prescribe physical therapy to reduce inflammation. Patient will also get instructions to know how to stretch his foot properly, avoiding further pain.
Surgical Removal of the Tarsal Coalition
Removing abnormal tissue surgical, helps to allow motion of the back part of the foot. Placing a soft tissue spacer at removed coalition site, restricts bone re-growth while preserving rear- foot joints.