The Accessory Navicular is an extra bone or piece of cartilage located on the inner side of the foot just above the arch. It is incorporated within the posterior tibial tendon, which attaches in this area. 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.
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.
A visible bony lump on the inner part of the foot, towards the middle, just above the arch of the foot. Redness, swelling, and sensitivity of the bony prominence. Pain or throbbing in the middle of the foot and the arch. Difficulty with foot movement and activity. Possible skin callous or skin irritation caused by footwear rubbing over the lump. Not everyone who has an accessory navicular will develop these problems. When problems do occur, they may begin in early adolescence. The obvious indication is a painful bump on the inside of the foot, which hurts to touch, and causes problems that gradually become worse, and which are aggravated by activity, walking, etc., leading to all the problems discussed here. Pain may be worse towards the end of the day, and continue into the night.
To diagnose accessory navicular syndrome, the foot and ankle surgeon will ask about symptoms and examine the foot, looking for skin irritation or s welling. The doctor may press on the bony prominence to assess the area for discomfort. Foot structure, muscle strength, joint motion, and the way the patient walks may also be evaluated. X-rays are usually ordered to confirm the diagnosis. If there is ongoing pain or inflammation, an MRI or other advanced imaging tests may be used to further evaluate the condition.
Non Surgical Treatment
Initial treatment is conservative. With the first episode of symptoms, a medial heel wedge, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy Can Pilates make you look taller? be helpful. If very painful, a cast or boot may be needed for a short period time before the wedge and physical therapy can be initiated. Very rarely is a steroid injection warranted or recommended. As the pain improves, patients can resume activities. For a minority of patients, an arch support or custom orthotic can help to take some of the extra pressure off of the accessory navicular and the posterior tibial tendon.
If conservative measures do not seem to help, however, you may need to have surgery to make adjustments to the bump. This could include reshaping the little bone, repairing damage to the posterior tibial tendon, or even removing the accessory navicular altogether.
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