There are few long-term studies evaluating tarsal coalition resections. The purpose of this study was to compare patient outcomes following resection of calcaneonavicular (CN) and talocalcaneal (TC) bars and to determine the relationship between the extent of a coalition and the outcome of resection.

Patients younger than 18 years receiving resection for symptomatic tarsal coalition (1991-2004 inclusive) were eligible to participate. Follow-up evaluation included clinical examination to assess range of motion and self-reported functional outcome questionnaires. Two validated functional scales were used: the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Foot and Ankle Module, and the Foot Function Index (FFI). Twenty-four patients with 32 tarsal coalition resections (19 CN and 13 TC feet) were included in this study. For CN and TC patients, the mean age at the time of surgery was 11.8 ± 1.1 and 11.9 ± 2.5 years, and the mean age at follow-up was 27.1 ± 1.1 and 25.0 ± 2.5 years, respectively.

Inversion and eversion were significantly less for TC feet when compared with CN (P = .03 and P = .01, respectively). No difference was noted between the CN and TC groups with respect to outcome scores. Furthermore, no association was noted between the size of TC coalition or hindfoot valgus angle with respect to outcome scores.

Resected CN and TC bars behaved similarly in the long term in terms of function and patient satisfaction. Favorable results were attained when resections were performed on TC coalitions that were greater than 50% of the posterior facet and hindfoot valgus angles greater than 16 degrees.

Level III, retrospective comparative study.