Subtalar Joint Arthritis

The Subtalar joint is composed of two bones. The Talus and Calcaneus. Subtalar joint Arthritis can be very debilitating. This usually occurs in patients over the age of 50. Arthritis of the Subtalar joint is the destruction of the cartilage between the Talus and calcaneus. This can be very debilitating conditions limiting daily activity.

Subtalar Joint Arthritis
Subtalar Joint Arthritis

Causes

Overuse: seen in runners

Old age: as we age our cartilage normally wear out

Trauma: From previous injuries such as ankle fractures 

Family history: Genetics and foot type inherited does play a key role in the development of arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune arthritis conditions

Bacterial infection/Septic joints

Joint deformity– Uneven joint can lead to uneven wear leading to accelerated wear and tear on the cartilage. Rear foot valgus/varus can lead to uneven wear and tear at the level of the subtalar joint. 

Symptoms

Pain with range of motion of the subtalar joint

Swelling, Joint effusion

Bony Prominence

Pain with activity or early in the morning

Rearfoot varus/valgus deformity

Flatfoot deformity

Tendonitis pain due to compensation 

Treatments

Xrays, MRI, Ultrasound imaging may be performed to get the degree of arthritic changes and too if there is any associated pathology. 

Conservative Treatment:

We always start with conservative therapy. Rest, ice, compression, Anti-inflammatory, Custom orthotics, physical therapy and corticosteroid injections. Another new product now available for treatment is the Amniotic Cell Therapy. Amniotic cell therapy contains growth factors and stem cells that help decrease inflammation and promote healing of the cartilage. 

Surgical Treatment:

For those that have failed all conservative therapy. There are multiple procedures present, Subtalar joint arthroscopy, OCD lesion repair, rear foot reconstruction and Subtalar joint fusion. The correct procedure will be determined by your surgeon.

Surgical Correction For Subtalar Joint Arthritis

This surgical procedure is used to help relieve pain in the joint beneath the ankle joint and correct deformities in the hindfoot caused by injury, arthritis, or genetic defect. The procedure fuses the calcaneus (the heel bone) to the talus, the bone that connects the foot to the ankle.