Accessory navicular syndrome is the painful condition caused by the presence of the accessory navicular. Well, is the statement a bit confusing? Let me explain. The accessory navicular is a bone in the foot that is not supposed to be present. But in some very rare cases, this extra bone (sometimes can also be a cartilage piece) is present by birth. This bone exists in the arch of the foot. The presence of this bone though not common, is not abnormal either as most people are not even aware of its existence unless and until it begins to cause pain which we call accessory navicular syndrome.
Accessory navicular syndrome as it is called Can exercise increase your height? 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 do not always heal properly, so pain may continue unabated.
Usually, you will only need an X-ray to determine the size or type of the accessory navicular bone or the amount of medial navicular tuberosity hypertrophy. Be cognizant of stress fractures which may be duplicated as a hairline fracture or increased calcification. When treating children, always look for avascular necrosis of the navicular (Kohler?s disease). An X-ray of this condition will reveal a flattening of the navicular along with increased bone density.
Non Surgical Treatment
Treating accessory navicular syndrome is focused on relieving symptoms. Some treatment methods are Icing to reduce swelling. Immobilization with a cast or walking boot to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Medications to reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy to strengthen muscles. Orthotics to support the arch. Surgery may be needed to remove the accessory bone and reshape the area if other methods are not successful.
In my experience, the Modified Kidner procedure is one of the most reliable operations for reducing arch pain associated with an accessory navicular bone (a.k.a. os tibial externum). You can also use this procedure to treat a prominence at the inner aspect of the arch, which has been caused by an enlarged navicular bone. The most common patients to visit our office with these problems are between the ages of 8 and 15 and are involved in activities like ice skating, ballet and soccer.
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