Tarsal Coalition is a medical condition associated with the bones of the foot. This condition generally develops when the bones of the rear foot gets fused together causing intense pain and discomfort. Tarsal coalition is primarily considered as an inherited condition and can be easily found in children and adolescents. When not treated in time, tarsal coalition can also lead to flat feet. Read on to know more about Tarsal Coalition:

Causes: Listed below are a few causes and risk factors of tarsal coalition:

  • Genetics: There is growing evidence suggesting the association between tarsal coalition and genetics. According to orthopedic doctors, people with a family history of tarsal coalition are more susceptible of developing this condition. In some patients, this condition is present at the time of birth, while in others it may develop later in life.
  • Medical conditions: It has been proven that people with medical conditions like arthritis, infections, trauma and abnormal bone growth are more prone to tarsal coalition.
  • Other conditions: Sometimes abnormal motion or physical activities involving stress on foot joints may also lead to this condition.

Symptoms – Following are the early and late symptoms of the tarsal coalition:

  • Intense pain on the outside and top of the foot
  • Stiffness in the foot
  • Chronic pain and stiffness in the ankle
  • Muscle spasms in the leg
  • Fatigued legs
  • The inflexibility of the foot
  • Limited range of motion
  • The affected foot appears flattened
  • Irritation in the tendon on the outside of the foot

Diagnosis: It is vital to consult an orthopedic doctor, if the aforementioned symptoms are noticed. The doctors are more likely to conduct a physical examination to determine the accurate cause of symptoms. They may also perform imaging tests like X-Ray, MRI, and CT to rule out other foot-related medical conditions.

Treatment: The most often recommended treatments for tarsal coalition include:

  • Medication and orthotics: The doctors may prescribe you oral anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • They may also recommend the use of foot orthotics to maintain the stability of the foot joint.
  • Protective pad may also be prescribed to prevent the irritation from the shoes.
  • Physical therapy: The doctors may also refer you to a physical therapist to help you regain muscle strength and motion through exercises.
  • The therapists may recommend a range of foot strengthening, stretching and motion exercises to improve the muscle flexibility.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, tarsal coalition surgery may be recommended by the doctors.