Not All FlatFeet Are Created Equal-Part II
Tarsal Coalitions Are a Cause of FlatFeet!
What is a Tarsal Coalition?
A tarsal coalition is an abnormal connection that develops between two bones in the back of your foot (the tarsal bones). The tarsal bones are the talus, calcaneus, navicular, cuneiforms and the cuboid.
These bones work together to provide the motion necessary for normal foot function.
This abnormal connection—which can be composed of bone, cartilage, or fibrous tissue—may lead to limited or a complete lack of motion and pain in one or both feet. Pain may occur at the affected joint or at surrounding joints as well.
What Causes a Tarsal Coalition?
Tarsal coalition is a condition most often caused by a hereditary defect that occurs during fetal development and results in the individual bones not forming properly. Less common causes of tarsal coalition include infection, arthritis, or previous trauma or injury in the area.
A tarsal coalition is difficult to identify until a child’s bones begin to mature. Diagnosis includes obtaining information about the duration and development of the symptoms as well as a thorough examination of the foot and ankle. The findings of the exam will differ according to the severity and location of the coalition.
I addition to examining the foot, the surgeon will order x-rays. Additional advanced imaging—such as CT or MRI scan—may also be needed to evaluate the coalition.