Non-Surgical Treatment For Tarsal Coalition
This portion of Dr. Blitz’ website is dedicated to the non-surgical treatment of tarsal coalition. Because tarsal coalition is a structural boney problem the underlying issue where bones are fused together, the non-surgical measures for tarsal coalition are aimed at decreasing and/or eliminating symptoms (pain). Only surgery can remove the boney blockage. But not all tarsal coalitions require surgery, so there are useful treatment techniques.
Simple Treatments Patients Can Do:
- Wear proper supportive shoes
- Modify your activities
- Lose weight
Non-surgical Treatments Dr. Blitz can add:
- Prescribe an oral anti-inflammatory medication
Anti-inflammatory medication is useful to significantly reduce pain and inflammation. This may be particularly helpful in managing the symptoms associated with tarsal coalition arthritis.
- Physical therapy
A physical therapist may help keep surrounding joint mobile which is important with tarsal coalition. A therapist may perform ultrasound and other techniques to reduce inflammation. Stretching of the foot and calf muscles are particularly important with tarsal coalition as they can perpetuate structural foot problems. If muscle spasms are present, deep massage may help alleviate symptoms.
- Prescribe protective pads
Prominent areas of the foot may become irritated and inflamed. Padding and/or cushioning may provide some general relief. of the ball of the
- Prescribe custom foot orthotics
Foot orthotics (or arch supports) can be very helpful with tarsal coalition – in the presence of a well aligned foot or a flat foot. A custom foot orthotic (a doctor prescribed arch support) is made directly from a casting (mold) of your feet, and is probably advantageous with the tarsal coalition patient since the shape of the back part of the foot is rigid and fixed as there is no mobility. The orthotic may help alleviate additional arch and foot strain but again is not expected to change the structure.
- Give cortisone injection
A cortisone injection is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication used to rapidly reduce the pain associated with an inflamed area and/or joint. Any pain relief that is experienced from the cortisone injection(s) is often temporary. This is a short term option and prolonged repeated use of cortisone injections may be detrimental to bone and joint health.
- Superficial Peroneal Nerve Block
Patients who have peroneal muscle spasms may benefit from a superficial peroneal nerve block. The superficial peroneal nerve controls the peroneal muscles and providing an anesthetic block to this nerve temporarily releases the tension in these muscles. Peroneal spasms can worsen a flat foot deformity associated with tarsal coalition. if the underlying condition of tarsal coalition is not treated (removed) then the spam will likely return.