The tarsus is a group of bones located in the mid and hind foot that comprise the ankle and heel. A tarsal coalition is a developmental condition where two or more of a foot’s tarsal bones fuse together. Tarsal coalitions can occur across the joint between talus and calcaneus (talocalcaneal coalition) or between the calcaneus and navicular bones (calcaneonavicular coalition).
Children typically do not develop symptoms until age 8 to 16 years. While symptoms vary, the most common are pain on the top of the foot, flat feet
Rigidity or stiffness in the affected foot
A tarsal coalition most often occur as a result of an inherited disorder where the cells of the tarsal bones fail to differentiate during a fetus’ development in the womb. Tarsal coalitions may also be caused by an infection, injury, or advanced arthritis.
Metatarsus adductus can be diagnosed through observation and a physical exam.
Most children with metatarsus adductus will naturally improve over time without any intervention.
Stretching exercises, splinting, bracing, and/or series casting may be required in cases where the foot is fairly rigid and fails to improve independently. Surgery is only considered in rare cases where the condition persists past age four or five and all other treatment methods have proved insufficient.