Can Accessory Navicular Syndrome Be Uncomfortable

Overview

The navicular bone is located on the top of the foot near the arch. People who have this extra bone can feel a bump or bony protuberance on the top of the foot above the arch. While the bone itself does not cause pain, accessory navicular syndrome can develop when the bone and/or nearby tendon is irritated. The navicular bone is attached to muscles, ligaments and the posterior tibial tendon. Since ligaments and tendons have poor blood supply and don?t heal easily, any irritation to the surrounding structures can develop into a painful condition.

Accessory Navicular Syndrome

Causes

An accessory navicular develops as a result of a congenital anomaly and is found more often in women. If the bone is large, it may rub against a shoe, causing pain. Because of its location, the posterior tibial tendon may pull on the bone during walking or running, causing the fibrous tissue that connects the accessory navicular to the navicular to tear and become inflamed.

Symptoms

Most people with an accessory navicular do not have symptoms because the bone is so small that it causes no harm, or only develop symptoms after a trauma such as a break or sprain. When symptoms are present they could be a visible bony prominence, pain and throbbing, inflammation and redness, and flat feet.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will diagnose an accessory navicular by examining your child?s foot. Your physician may also obtain x-rays to confirm the accessory navicular and to rule out other conditions.

Non Surgical Treatment

The goal of non-surgical treatment for accessory navicular syndrome is to relieve the symptoms. The following may be used. Placing the foot in a cast or removable walking boot allows the affected area to rest and decreases the inflammation. To reduce swelling, a bag of ice covered with a thin towel is applied to the affected area. Do not put ice directly on the skin. 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 may be prescribed, including exercises and treatments to strengthen the muscles and decrease inflammation. The exercises may also help prevent recurrence of the symptoms. 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.

Accessory Navicular

Surgical Treatment

If all nonsurgical measures fail and the fragment continues to be painful, surgery may be recommended. The most common procedure used to treat the symptomatic accessory navicular is the Kidner procedure. A small incision is made in the instep of the foot over the accessory navicular. The accessory navicular is then detached from the posterior tibial tendon and removed from the foot. The posterior tibial tendon is reattached to the remaining normal navicular. Following the procedure, the skin incision is closed with stitches, and a bulky bandage and splint are applied to the foot and ankle. You may need to use crutches for several days after surgery. Your stitches will be removed in 10 to 14 days (unless they are the absorbable type, which will not need to be taken out). You should be safe to be released to full activity in about six weeks.