Tarsal coalition is a congenital (born with it) fusion (sticking together) of the tarsal bones in the foot. The tarsals are 7 bones located at the back of the foot. These are the Calcaneus, Talus, Navicular, Cuboid and the three Cuneiform bones.
Symptoms of Tarsal Coalition
What Causes Tarsal Coalition?
The most common joints to be affected are the calcaneonavicular joint (between the Calcaneus and the Navicular) and the talocalcaneal joint (between the Talus and the Calcaneus).
It usually affects adolescents as the fibrous or cartilaginous joints between the bones ossify (turn to bone) and harden. This causes a decreased range of motion in the rearfoot causing strain on the ankle joint.
Tarsal coalition can occasionally develop in later life due to an infection or arthritis in the joints, or an ankle injury.
A thorough examination with a full medical history is used to determine the possibility of a tarsal coalition. An X-ray or other more advanced imaging studies should be used to confirm the diagnosis.