People are different. This couldn’t be more accurate in the case of a tarsal coalition.
What is a Tarsal Coalition?
A tarsal coalition is a variation found in some people where some of the tarsal bones of the foot are fused together.
The tarsal bones are the seven larger bones that make up the back of the foot; behind the toes and the attached metatarsal bones.
Tarsal coalitions are not too common. They can be genetically inherited and maybe found in one or both feet.
How do they present?
In childhood or adolescence, they present usually as a flat and rigid foot. Pain which is usually the main symptom is caused due to restriction of natural movement of the foot.
The two most common tarsal coalitions:
- Calcaneonavicular joint – the joint between the calcaneus and the navicular bones.
- Talocalcaneal joint – the joint between talus and calcaneus bones.
How are they diagnosed?
Specific x-ray views can pick up a tarsal coalition. However, a CT scan is most accurate at identifying the specific location of the coalition.
How are they treated?
Tarsal coalitions are treated in a number of ways. Often a cortisone injection may be enough to settle a painful joint or Podiatrists routinely use orthotics and appropriate footwear. Orthotics and footwear are designed to minimise unnatural movement of the joint. Thus will minimise discomfort and pain.
Some coalitions may still remain problematic, surgical intervention is often an option. This will either include a resection (separation) of the bones, or an arthrodesis (fusion) of the surrounding bones to limit painful movement.
The qualified physiotherapist at Pivotal Motion can assist with tarsal coalition. Call the friendly staff on 07 3352 5116 or book an appointment online today!
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