Tarsal Coalition

What is a Tarsal Coalition?
A tarsal coalition is an abnormal connection that develops between the tarsal bones in the back of the foot. This connection can lead to limited motion and pain. It is usually caused by a hereditary defect that happens while the child is still being developed in the womb. Less common causes of tarsal coalition include infection, arthritis, or previous injury. 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Mild to severe pain when walking or standing
  • Tired or fatigued legs
  • Muscle spasms in the leg that cause the foot to turn outward when walking
  • Flatfoot in one or both feet
  • Walking with a limp
  • Stiffness of the foot or ankle

A diagnosis for a tarsal coalition is difficult to diagnose until a child's bones begin to mature. Your podiatrist will ask you questions regarding how long your symptoms have existed, as well as how they have progressed. They will perform a thorough examination of the foot and ankle in question, as well as ordering x-ray, and possibly a CT scan or MRI.

An illustration of the bones of the tarsal region of the foot. A tarsal coalition can involve two or more of these bones.
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