Talocalcaneal coalition causing tarsal tunnel syndrome

Case contributed by Dr Maulik S Patel


Swelling and pain on the posterior inferior aspect of right ankle medial malleolus for 8 years. No trauma.

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Female

There is swelling on the posterior inferior aspect of the right medial malleolus.

There is hypertrophic bony prominence involving talocalcaneal joint in AP view.  There is a continuous C-shaped arc on a lateral ankle radiograph.


Talo-calcaneal joint

  • joint space reduction (compare with the asymptomatic side)
  • joint is bridged by soft tissue showing fibrillary echo pattern
  • a cystic lesion (4 x 3 x 2 mm) is seen abutting joint line
  • the neck of this lesion is seen extending into the talocalcaneal joint. The defect is seen in bridging fibrillary soft tissue.


  • bony hypertrophic prominence on medial aspect abutting talocalcaneal joint
  • it increases the distance between flexure digitorum tendon and neurovascular bundle in comparison to asymptomatic side

Posterior tibial nerve

  • edema of medial branch of nerve at and just proximal to the talus
  • this branch shows elevated course due to the hypertrophic bone of talus
  • cross sectional area of the nerve is double (6 mm2) as compared to asymptomatic left side (3 mm2) at the same level
  • lateral branch and calcaneal branch show normal echo pattern

Medial tendons

  • normal echopattern


  • patent

Case Discussion

Young female presented with medial ankle region swelling which she noticed a few years back. Plain radiograph shows findings of the talocalcaneal joint coalition.

Ultrasound shows fibrillary soft tissue bridging two bones. There is no ultrasound signature of either echogenic bone or anechoic cartilage.  There is a ganglion sitting on this coalition with its neck extending into the joint. The ganglion abuts one of the veins but not the nerve. The altered contour of talus results in elevation of medial branch of tibial nerve; along with nerve edema.

The coalition is a developmental condition. The coalition can be of three different types: bony, cartilaginous, fibrous. Comparision with the asymptomatic normal side is helpful.


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Case information

rID: 55379
Published: 2nd Sep 2017
Last edited: 10th Sep 2017
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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