HSS Journal ®

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 153–166 | Cite as

Tarsal Coalitions: Radiographic, CT, and MR Imaging Findings

  • David A. Lawrence
  • Michael F. Rolen
  • Andrew H. Haims
  • Zakaria Zayour
  • Hicham A. Moukaddam
Review Article



Tarsal coalitions affect up to 13% of the population and can be a cause of chronic ankle and hindfoot pain. They can be subdivided as osseous, cartilaginous, or fibrous types, each with unique radiographic, CT, and MR imaging findings. In particular, MR imaging offers the unique ability to determine the exact type of tarsal coalition that is present as well as whether any associated soft tissue abnormalities are present.


The purposes of this paper were to (1) review the anatomy of the hindfoot; (2) review the radiographic, CT, and MR imaging findings of tarsal coalitions; and (3) review the imaging appearance of the specific types of tarsal coalitions.


Online searches were performed using Google Scholar with the search criteria of “tarsal coalition,” “hindfoot anatomy,” and “subtalar coalition,” and limiting the searches to papers published in the last 10 years in major radiology journals.


The anatomy of the hindfoot is complex but essential to understand. There are various radiographic, CT, and MR imaging findings that can be consistently noted in cases of tarsal coalition. The specific types of tarsal coalition demonstrate characteristic imaging findings.


Knowledge of the normal anatomy of the foot, in particular the hindfoot, combined with the knowledge of the imaging characteristics of different histologic subtypes of coalitions (osseous, cartilaginous, and fibrous) is essential for interpreting radiographic, CT, and MR images of the ankle and foot.


tarsal coalition subtalar coalition calcaneonavicular coalition 



The authors would like to thank Geri Mancini for her help in creating the diagrams for this paper.


Conflict of Interest:

David A. Lawrence, MD, Michael F. Rolen, MD, Andrew H. Haims, MD, Zakaria Zayour, MD, and Hicham A. Moukaddam, MD have declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Human/Animal Rights:

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the any of the authors.

Informed Consent:


Required Author Forms

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the online version of this article.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Hospital for Special Surgery 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Lawrence
    • 1
  • Michael F. Rolen
    • 1
  • Andrew H. Haims
    • 1
  • Zakaria Zayour
    • 2
  • Hicham A. Moukaddam
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic RadiologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.School of MedicineAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.LimaUSA

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