Accessory Navicular Bone Causes

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When there is injury to the muscle, fibrous tissue, or soft tissue of the navicular and the accessory navicular bones, symptoms will arise. This injury allows excessive movement between the bones. Fibrous tissue, ligaments and tendons have poor blood supply and are prone to poor healing. Often, this extra navicular bone lies near or attaches to the posterior tibial tendon. (See figure.) When the posterior tibial muscle contracts with movements such as foot inversion or plantar flexion, the posterior tendon moves and the accessory navicular bone moves. This can cause severe pain in those with Accessory Navicular Syndrome. It can become disabling to patients because the posterior tibial tendon attached to the navicular bone is responsible for supporting the medial arch during standing, walking and running. Activities which most of us do daily!

Let us see the reasons why the tendon or the bone would get aggravated. Ankle or foot sprain, irritation of the bone caused by footwear, overusing the foot, quite common in athletes and dancers. People born with this extra bone are also known develop flat feet which also adds to the strain on the posterior tibial tendon and lead to the syndrome.

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.

To diagnose accessory navicular syndrome, medical staff ask about the patient?s activities and symptoms. They will examine the foot for irritation or swelling. Medical staff evaluate the bone structure, muscle, joint motion, and the patient?s gait. X-rays can usually confirm the diagnosis. MRI or other imaging tests may be used to determine any irritation or damage to soft-tissue structures such as tendons or ligaments. Because navicular accessory bone irritation can lead to bunions, heel spurs and plantar fasciitis, it?s important to seek treatment.

Non Surgical Treatment
Most cases of accessory navicular syndrome may be treated conservatively with some sort of immobilization. This should allow the fibrous tissue between the two bones to heal. If a patient is extremely flat footed (pronated) then I lean more towards an orthotic than a boot as my main goal is to keep the patient's foot from flattening out too much and thus reduce the strain on the two bones. Supplementation with ice, oral anti-inflammatory medication. If the patient is athletic sometimes we can keep them active with an orthotic, but other times they have to give up their sport for a period of time to allow the condition to heal.

Surgical Treatment
The above non-surgical options should be enough to treat accessory navicular syndrome. If they fail, a surgery would be necessary to remove the extra bone that has been causing the problems. The most common procedure for this condition is known as the Kidner procedure where a small incision is made over the navicular bone. The accessory navicular is identified and dissected free from the posterior tibial tendon. The posterior tibial tendon is then reattached to the remaining navicular bone.