A coalition is a union of two bones where there should be a joint or space between them. The tarsal bones exist in the mid- and rearfoot, and the most common tarsal coalition is between the heel bone (calcaneus) and the bone above it (talus). Symptoms are often not present until adolescence when enough force during sports activities forces the bones to try to separate.
Clinical examination shows very limited movement of the rearfoot joints, and pain with attempted range of motion. Specific x-ray views are helpful in diagnosing certain coalitions. CT scans are most useful in determining the extent of the deformity.
Physical therapy, cortisone injections, orthotics may help reduce the symptoms. Surgically removing the bridge or coalition is often the most successful way to treat this condition.
To learn about other types of heel pain visit:
To make an appointment at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City in Seattle, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.