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Tarsal Coalition

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What is Tarsal Coalition?

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 and forms before birth. Normally, the tarsal bones work together to provide motion.


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
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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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