The navicular bone of the foot is one of the small bones on the mid-foot. The bone is located at the instep, the arch at the middle of the foot. One of the larger tendons of the foot, called the posterior tibial tendon, attaches to the navicular before continuing under the foot and into the forefoot. This tendon is a tough band of tissue that helps hold up the arch of the foot. If there is an accessory navicular, it is located in the instep where the posterior tibial tendon attaches to the real navicular bone.
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 you grow taller with exercise? 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. Excessive activity or overuse.
Most people born with this bone begin to experience the symptoms (if at all any) in adolescence. Some may not develop any symptoms until adulthood. The symptoms are a visible abnormal protrusion in the mid-foot, swelling and redness of the protrusion, pain in the mid-foot after performing an activity.
An initial assessment is an orthopaedic office begins with a thorough history and complete physical exam, including an assessment of the posterior tibial tendon and areas of tenderness. Associated misalignments of the ankle and foot should be noted. Finally, weight-bearing x-rays of the foot will help in making the diagnosis. Sometimes, an MRI may be needed to see if the posterior tibial tendon is involved with the symptoms or getting more clarity on the anatomy of the accessory navicular.
Non Surgical Treatment
The foot may be placed in a cast or removable walking boot to allow the affected area to rest and decrease the inflammation. Physical therapy including exercises and treatments to strengthen the muscles, decrease inflammation, and prevent recurrence of the symptoms. Custom orthopedic devices that fit into the shoe providing arch support. Even after successful treatment, symptoms may reappear.
After the anesthesia is administered you will be heavily sedated and placed on your stomach. Surgeons will place a tourniquet around your thigh and an incision will be made on the inside of the foot. The posterior tibial tendon will be moved as necessary and the accessory navicular will be removed. Surgeons will repair the posterior tibial tendon with sutures or suture anchors, and the wound will be closed. A splint will be placed on the foot for stabilization and immobilization. You will be permitted to leave the surgical center once you have been cleared by the anesthesiologist. Plan ahead to have a friend or family member take your prescription to a pharmacy to pick up your post-op medication. Use narcotic pain medications before bed or if numbness in your foot begins to dull. Schedule a post-op visit for 4 weeks after the procedure.
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