The accessory navicular is an ossicle, or extra bone located medially to the navicular. Depending on the type, or stage, it may be connected to the navicular by a fibrous union, via a type of joint called a synchrondrosis. In those who have this extra bone, it is present at birth, but it starts as soft cartilage and then begins to ossify (turn into bone) at around age nine. Some sources believe that, in about half of those who have it, the bone will fuse to the navicular in late adolescence, but it is not clear that this actually happens.
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 it 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.
Adolescence is a common time for the symptoms to first appear. This is a time when bones are maturing and cartilage is developing into bone. Sometimes, however, the symptoms do not occur until adulthood. The signs and symptoms of accessory navicular syndrome include A visible bony prominence on the midfoot (the inner side of the foot, just above the arch) Redness and swelling of the bony prominence. Vague pain or throbbing in the midfoot and arch, usually occurring during or after periods of activity.
Typically, accessory navicular syndrome isn?t hard to diagnose. Our podiatrists will examine the lower limb and check the hard prominence, as well as use X-rays to confirm the presence of extra bone tissue. Other diagnostic images may be able to identify inflammation and specific damage to the midfoot. Depending on the severity of your discomfort, conservative measures may be enough to resolve the condition.
Non Surgical Treatment
The goal of non-surgical treatment for accessory navicular syndrome is to relieve the symptoms. The following may be used. Immobilization. Placing the foot in a cast or removable walking boot allows the affected area to rest and decreases the inflammation. Ice. To reduce swelling, a bag of ice covered with a thin towel is applied to the affected area. How do you prevent Achilles tendonitis? not put ice directly on the skin. Medications. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be prescribed. In some cases, oral or injected steroid medications may be used in combination with immobilization to reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy. Physical therapy may be prescribed, including exercises and treatments to strengthen the muscles and decrease inflammation. The exercises may also help prevent recurrence of the symptoms. Orthotic devices. Custom orthotic devices that fit into the shoe provide support for the arch, and may play a role in preventing future symptoms. Even after successful treatment, the symptoms of accessory navicular syndrome sometimes reappear. When this happens, non-surgical approaches are usually repeated.
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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