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
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.
Pain with range of motion of the subtalar joint
Swelling, Joint effusion
Pain with activity or early in the morning
Rearfoot varus/valgus deformity
Tendonitis pain due to compensation
Xrays, MRI, Ultrasound imaging may be performed to get the degree of arthritic changes and too if there is any associated pathology.
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.
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.