Arthrodesis of the Subtalar Joint in a High School Football Player With a Talocalcaneal Coalition: Case Report With Functional Analysis

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Tarsal coalition is a bony or fibrous bridge between 2 tarsal bones. The condition is typically congenital and presents in early to mid-adolescence. Common symptoms include ankle pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Conservative treatment of tarsal coalition consists of immobilization, short leg walking cast, steroid injections, physical therapy, ankle braces, and orthotics. When conservative care fails, surgical intervention for tarsal coalition includes excision of the coalition or joint arthrodesis. We present a case of a high school football player with a 5-year history of left ankle pain secondary to a talocalcaneal coalition. The athlete did not respond favorably to conservative treatment and underwent a subtalar joint arthrodesis. Prior to surgery, the athlete consented to self-reported functional outcome measures, range of motion measures, and 3D video gait analysis to evaluate the effects of surgery. Measurements were taken prior to surgery and 1½ years after surgery. Clinically significant improvements were seen in subjective outcome measures and functional ankle range of motion in this case. There is limited research available to validate long-term outcomes for current conservative and surgical treatments of tarsal coalition. In this case, joint arthrodesis resulted in a good long-term outcome for this athlete. Levels of Evidence: Therapeutic, Level IV: Case study

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Foot and Ankle Specialist

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