The accessory navicular is an extra piece of bone or cartilage just above the arch on the inside of the foot. It sits next to the navicular tarsal, which gives it its name, where the posterior tibial tendon attaches to the bone before continuing to the underside of the arch. The little bone is a congenital anomaly, you are born with it. If the extra tissue doesn?t cause any problems, you may never know it is there. You Can you stretch to get taller?, however, develop the painful condition called accessory navicular syndrome. This occurs when the extra bone or the posterior tibial tendon surrounding it becomes irritated. Trauma from a sprain, friction from footwear, and overuse can all inflame the tissues.
Accessory navicular syndrome as it is called can result from a number of causes, excess or overuse syndrome as seen in an athlete. Trauma to the foot as in an ankle sprain or direct trauma to the navicular bone. chronic irritation from shoes rubbing against the extra bone, over time, may cause pain. Excessive pronation which strains the attachment of tibialis posterior muscles into the navicular bone. Keep in mind, the larger the actual accessory bone, the greater the chance of it becoming an issue.
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.
During your clinical exam, you may note erythema to the navicular prominence area and a foot that collapses in stance. While it?s common to see flat feet with these patients, this may not always be the case. You will note a significant difference in the off-weightbearing arch compared to the foot in stance, which is lower. These patients will always have pain to the navicular bone, especially at the major insertion of the posterior tibial tendon just proximal and also inferior to the navicular bone. You may also find they have pain on resisted adduction.
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. Do not put ice directly on the skin. 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 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.
Surgical treatment of the accessory navicular syndrome with simple excision has the advantages of less invasive to the posterior tibial tenden and the medial longitudinal arch of the foot, shorter time of immobilization of the foot and stay in hospital, small incision and good clinical results. This procedure is one of the best selective treatments for the accessory navicular syndrome, especially for the patients without flatfoot deformity and old sprain injury.
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