The navicular bone is located on the inside of the foot just above the arch. One in 10 people has an accessory navicular bone, which is an extra piece of bone attached to the navicular. Just like other bones, the accessory navicular bone grows and hardens in adolescence. People with an accessory navicular may experience pain and swelling from shoe pressure or from frequent sprains where the extra piece of bone attaches.
Accessory navicular syndrome as it is called can result from a number of causes, excess or overuse syndrome as seen in an athlete. Trauma to the foot as in an ankle sprain or direct trauma to the navicular bone. chronic irritation from shoes rubbing against the extra bone, over time, may cause pain. Excessive pronation which strains the attachment of tibialis posterior muscles into the navicular bone. Keep in mind, the larger the actual accessory bone, the greater the chance of it becoming an issue.
One obvious problem with the accessory navicular is that it may be large and stick out from the inside of the foot. This can cause it to rub against shoes and so become quite painful. The fibrous connection between the accessory navicular and the navicualar, as well, is easy to injure, also leading to pain. This is kind of like a fracture, and such injuries cause the bone to move around too easily, leading to pain with activity. When the connection between the bones is injured in this way, the two bones What do you do for Achilles tendonitis? not always heal properly, so pain may continue unabated.
Typically, accessory navicular syndrome isn?t hard to diagnose. Our podiatrists will examine the lower limb and check the hard prominence, as well as use X-rays to confirm the presence of extra bone tissue. Other diagnostic images may be able to identify inflammation and specific damage to the midfoot. Depending on the severity of your discomfort, conservative measures may be enough to resolve the condition.
Non Surgical Treatment
Treatment options for a painful accessory navicular can include anti-inflammatory medications, rest, arch support structures in the shoe, or use of a cast or splint. Severe cases may require surgery.
Depending upon the severity the non operative or conservative treatment should be maintained for at least 4- 6 months before any surgical intervention. There are 2 surgeries that can be performed depending upon the condition and symptoms. First is simple surgical excision. In this generally the accessory navicular along with its prominence is removed. In this procedure, skin incision is made dorsally to the prominence of accessory navicular. Bone is removed to the point where the medial foot has no bony prominence over the navicular, between the head of the talus and first cuneiform. Symptoms are relieved in 90% of cases. Second is Kindler procedure. In this the ossicle and navicular prominence is excised as in simple excision but along with the posterior tibial tendon advancement. Posterior tibial tendon is split and advanced along the medial side of foot to provide support to longitudinal arch. After surgery 4 week short leg cast, well moulded into the arch with the foot plantigrade is applied. Partial weight bearing till the 8th week and later full weight bearing is allowed. When the cast is being removed can start building up the ROM to counter atrophy and other physical therapy treatment which include stretching and strengthening exercises.
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