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Tarsal Coalition

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Learn more about tarsal coalition and its symptoms and treatment options.

Tarsal coalition develops when two bones located in the hind foot fail to separate. This abnormal connection can consist of cartilage, bone, or fibrous tissue.

  • Normally, the tarsal bones work together to provide motion
  • This conditions forms before birth

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Symptoms

Symptoms of tarsal coalition begin to appear when the bones start to mature (usually around 9 to 16 years) and include:

  • Stiffness
  • Limited motion
  • Pain when walking or standing
  • Fatigued legs
  • Flat foot
  • Muscle spasms in legs
  • Limping

Treatments

The primary goal of treatment for tarsal coalition is to relieve symptoms. Treatments can include:

  • Medications or steroid injections to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Physical therapy to improve range of motion
  • Casting to force the foot to rest
  • Orthotic devices to distribute weight away from the joint

Surgery may be necessary if symptoms are not relieved with non-surgical treatment.

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