The accessory navicular also termed the os navicularum or os tibiale externum - is an extra bone or piece of cartilage on the inner side of the foot above the arch that attaches to the posterior tibial tendon within this area. This extra bone, present at birth, is not part of the normal bone structure and found in approximately 10% of the population. Some people with an accessory navicular may be unaware of the condition if symptoms are never experienced. But accessory navicular syndrome is a painful condition caused by aggravating the bone, the posterior tibial tendon or both.Accessory navicular syndrome is an irritation of the accessory navicular and/or posterior tibial tendon. This irritation can be caused by shoe rubbing, trauma, excessive activity, or overuse and can cause problems with the shape and function of your foot. Many people with this disorder also have flat feet which puts more strain on the posterior tibial tendon. Some people are born with an accessory Navicular because during development, the bones of the feet sometimes develop abnormally causing the extra bone to form on the inside of the foot.
Most of the time, this condition is asymptomatic and people may live their whole lives unaware that they even have this extra bone. The main reason the accessory navicular bone becomes problematic is when pain occurs. There is no need for intervention if there is no pain. The accessory navicular bone is easily felt in the medial arch because Why does it hurt right above my heel? forms a bony prominence there. Pain may occur if the accessory bone is overly large causing this bump on the instep to rub against footwear.
The symptoms of accessory navicular syndrome commonly arise during adolescence, when bones are maturing and cartilage fuses into bone. In other instances, symptoms do not appAccessory Navicularear until adulthood. The signs and symptoms include a visible bony prominence on the midfoot the inner side of the foot above the arch. Redness or swelling of the bony prominence. Indistinct pain or throbbing in the midfoot and arch during or after physical activity.
To diagnose this disorder doctors often ask questions relating to symptoms, evaluate the foot by pressing on different areas to evaluate discomfort, watch the patient walk, evaluate foot structure, and most likely take x-rays.
Non Surgical Treatment
Rest is the most important factor in relieving your pain. You may need to immobilize your foot to allow the affected tissues to rest enough that they can heal. Icing the area will help decrease any inflammation and swelling. Our staff may recommend anti-inflammatory medications as well. Most likely you will need to change your footwear-and possibly add orthotics-to accommodate your bony prominence and relieve strain in the midfoot. Sometimes physical therapy may be able to help strengthen tissues and prevent additional injuries.
If non-surgical treatment fails to relieve the symptoms of accessory navicular syndrome, surgery may be appropriate. Surgery may involve removing the accessory bone, reshaping the area, and repairing the posterior tibial tendon to improve its function. This extra bone is not needed for normal foot function.
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