Can Accessory Navicular Syndrome Be Uncomfortable
Os tibiale navicular refers to an extra bone found in the foot. An accessory bone is a bone that is not normally found in the average human, but in most cases is not considered abnormal. This condition represents a secondary ossification center (growth center) of the navicular bone. It is present from birth. The navicular bone is found on the inside part of the foot.
It is commonly believed that the posterior tibial tendon loses its vector of pull to heighten the arch. As the posterior muscle contracts, the tendon is no longer pulling straight up on the navicular but must course around the prominence of bone and first pull medially before pulling upward. In addition, the enlarged bones may irritate and damage the insertional area of the posterior tibial tendon, making it less functional. Therefore, the presence of the accessory navicular bone does contribute to posterior tibial dysfunction.
What precipitates the pain? It will usually be caused by rubbing of the skate or other footwear against the prominence. You?ll commonly see blisters or a red irritated area. Other symptoms to look for, especially when you?re treating an older child or adult, include an area of pain along the posterior tibial tendon of the arch and fatigue of the legs. Typically, these patients are not able to participate in sports for a lengthy period of time or you?ll hear them complain of pain and/or soreness after extended activities. Most individuals with a prominent navicular area will have tried accommodating this area with a doughnut pad or adjustments to their skate.
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
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.
If your pain and discomfort don’t go away with treatments like these, then it may be time to consider surgery. If you decide to go through with it, your surgeon will probably remove the accessory navicular once and for all, and will tighten up the posterior tibial tendon in order to make it better able to support your arch. You’ll probably have to wear a cast for a several weeks, and a brace for some months after that, but with patience, you may be able to say goodbye to your symptoms.