Tarsal coalition is a rare foot condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort. It occurs when abnormal bone connections in the back of the foot prevent normal movement. Over time, this can lead to arthritis, bone spurs, and other complications. Several treatment options are available to alleviate the pain and allow you to live your life to the fullest.
Rest and Immobilization
Your doctor may recommend rest and immobilization as a first course of action to treat foot pain due to tarsal coalition. Rest means avoiding strenuous activity and wearing a brace or cast to limit movement in the affected area. In severe cases, crutches may be necessary to keep weight off the foot. This treatment method gives the body time to heal and can help reduce inflammation.
Custom orthotic devices can help treat foot pain related to the tarsal coalition. These devices provide support and cushion to the affected area, which can help reduce pressure on the joints and alleviate pain. Your doctor can recommend an orthotic device specifically tailored to your needs.
Physical therapy is another option for treating tarsal coalition-related foot pain. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to improve foot and ankle flexibility, strengthen the muscles around the affected area, and reduce the stress on the joints. These exercises can help improve your range of motion and reduce pain levels.
Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can effectively treat mild to moderate foot pain. In more severe cases, prescription-strength pain medications may be necessary. Your doctor may also recommend anti-inflammatory medications like corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Surgery may sometimes be necessary to alleviate foot pain caused by tarsal coalition. Your doctor may suggest surgery when other treatment methods have failed to provide relief. The type of surgery performed will depend on the severity of your condition. For example, the surgeon may need to sever the connections between the bones. If there are bone spurs or damaged cartilage in the foot, the surgeon may remove or repair those structures. Bone fusion may sometimes be necessary to stabilize the foot and prevent further damage.
Foot pain caused by tarsal coalition can be frustrating and debilitating, but it doesn't have to be a permanent part of your life. With the right treatment methods, you can reduce your pain levels and improve your quality of life. Options like rest and immobilization, physical therapy, medication, surgery, and custom orthotics can all be effective in treating tarsal coalition-related foot pain.