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Musculoskeletal Imaging

E2846. Tarsal Coalition: The Role of the Imaging Modalities

MARIN CONCHA J1,2,  TAPIA P1,2,  RENGIFO P.1 1. San Borja Clinic, Lima, PerĂº; 2. Cayetano Heredia University, Lima, PerĂº

Address correspondence to J. Marin Concha (

Background Information: Chronic ankle and foot pain are very common complaints in the general population. Tarsal coalition is uncommon but not a rare cause of pain in young patients. Understanding the hindfoot anatomy and the interaction between tarsal bones is important for a Radiologist to accurate diagnosis of tarsal coalition. Precise interpretation of the different types of tarsal coalition using radiography, CT, and MRI studies could help in the early management decision.

Educational Goals/Teaching Points: The teaching points of this educational exhibit includes the identification of the talocalcaneal and the calcaneonavicular joint. Participants will learn to distinguish between the most common types of tarsal coalition (fibrous, cartilaginous, osseus) and to recognize the radiographic signs of tarsal coalition that may indirectly suggest the diagnostic and the characteristic findings in CT and MRI.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques: Tarsal coalition is defined as an abnormal union between two or more tarsal bones, the calcaneonavicular and talocalcaneal are the most common forms. This pathology is present in 1% of the population and has an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. The coalition can be fibrous, cartilaginous and osseous, each of these has unique MRI characteristic imaging. Tarsal coalition subtypes are reinforced using a case review format.

Conclusion: After visiting this educational exhibit, Radiologists will be able to recognize the hindfoot anatomy and the common radiographic signs of tarsal coalition. They will also understand the advantages and limitations of the CT scan and MRI studies for the identification of the size, character, and location of the coalition.