Tarsal Coalition in Athletes: Fusing and Choosing
Sports are big in the Sammamish area, from basketball at Skyline or East Lake High School to the local Boys and Girls Club leagues. Your child can benefit from the exercise and team building that results from participation in organized sports. Conditions like tarsal coalition in athletes (fusing of tarsal bones), though, can put a damper on their enthusiasm. You can help your child through the disappointment and pain of a sports injury by understanding it and choosing to make the right decisions about treatment.
With tarsal coalition, two or more bones in the back part of the foot are joined. The rigidity can cause the foot to have problems performing as it should and make it more prone to injury. Tarsal coalition is a hereditary trait, but it may not show up until the child is 10 – 16 years of age--sometimes even later. Your first indication of a problem may be when your child sustains an injury like a sprained ankle and the fusion shows up on the X-rays.
It is very important that your son or daughter stop the activity that caused the injury right away. This is a hard choice for a child in the middle of a season, but the sooner treatment is begun, the better the foot will heal—and the fewer problems they will have down the road. Start the RICE treatment immediately (Rest, Icing, Compression, Elevation), and get them to The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic so we can examine and diagnose the problem. The important thing is to keep weight off as long as there is any pain. Treatment may involve use of crutches or custom orthotics, taping or bracing, or even a cast or cast boot. We may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and pain.
Dr. Howard Schaengold specializes in sports injuries and wants to keep your child’s feet healthy for all their activities. Call (425) 868-3338 today for expert foot care in Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond, and Bellevue, WA.
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