People who have an accessory navicular often are unaware of the condition if it causes no problems. However, some people with this extra bone develop a painful condition known as accessory navicular syndrome when the bone and/or posterior tibial tendon are aggravated. This can result from any of the following, trauma, as in a foot or ankle sprain, chronic irritation from shoes or other footwear rubbing against the extra bone. Many people with accessory navicular syndrome also have flat feet (fallen arches). Having a flat foot puts more strain on the posterior tibial tendon, which can produce inflammation or irritation of the accessory navicular.
Just having an accessory navicular bone is not necessarily a bad thing. Not all people with these accessory bones have symptoms. Symptoms arise when the accessory navicular is overly large or when an injury disrupts the fibrous tissue between the navicular and the accessory navicular. A very large accessory navicular Can better posture make you taller? cause a bump on the instep that rubs on your shoe causing pain.
The primary reason an accessory navicular becomes a problem is pain. There is no need to do anything with an accessory navicular that is not causing pain. The pain is usually at the instep area and can be pinpointed over the small bump in the instep. Walking can be painful when the problem is aggravated. As stated earlier, the condition is more common in girls. The problem commonly becomes symptomatic in the teenage years.
Accessory navicular syndrome is diagnosed by asking about symptoms and examining the foot for skin irritation and swelling. Doctors may assess the area for discomfort by pressing on the bony prominence. Foot structure, muscle strength, joint motion and walking patterns may also be evaluated.
Non Surgical Treatment
Using PRP treatments, orthotics, proper running shoes and physical therapy should do the trick. No long recovery, no long down time. My runners and athletes are usually back to their sport pain free within a month. The key is eliminating the syndrome, not the bone (or cartilage).
Fusion of the accessory navicular to the navicular with screws is required when there is a large accessory navicular bone and removal of this bone would reduce the articular surface of the Navicular to the talus (coxa pedis). Fusion will relieve pain without disrupting the tibialis posterior tendon insertion nor narrowing talar head support. In most instances, a patient’s recovery will be as follows. 0-6 weeks: Immobilization (in case or cast boot) non-weight-bearing or touch weight-bearing. 6-10 weeks: Increasing activity in a cast boot. Physical therapy to work on strength and balance. Full recovery after 9 weeks-2 months. In some patients (where the posterior tibial tendon is still intact and functioning) the treating surgeon may allow weight-bearing as tolerated in a cast boot immediately after surgery.
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