Tarsal Coalition


Tarsal Coalitions are a rare cause of pain in a childs’ foot. They result from a failure of the body to achieve normal skeleton growth. The cause begins in-utero when the foot of the foetus is developing. The cells do not divide properly and a “fusion” occurs.

Coalitions can be between 2 or more of any of the bones of the feet. However they usually occur between the Calcaneus and either the Talus or the Navicular (Bones in the back of the foot).

Your child’s coalition will vary in severity. This is determined by many factors including:

  • Type of Coalition – Complete boney coalition, Partial boney coalition, Fiborous coalition
  • Range of motion of surrounding joints
  • Muscle strength
  • Flexibility
  • Type of activity
  • Footwear
  • Age, among other factors

Pain often starts in early teen years due to the progressive change from cartilage to bone in the maturing skeleton. Your child will often complain of an aching pain to the ankle and midfoot especially during activity or when standing for longer than usual.

Treatment for your coalition vary greatly. Early assessment of your child’s foot is essential to ensure complications to the foot do not impact further growth and development.

You may require higher level imaging to diagnose a Coalition in most cases. MRI or CT scans are usually utilised due to the common involvement of cartilage.

Come in and see our friendly team at Complete Feet Orthotics & Podiatry were we can help your child find their feet.

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