The bones of the foot occasionally develop abnormally in a child and an extra bone called an accessory navicular is present towards the inside of the foot, in front of the ankle. This bone is present in approximately 10% of the general population but not large enough to cause symptoms in the majority of these individuals. The extra bone lump present in childhood can be quite uncomfortable because it rubs on shoes. In addition, the feet associated with the accessory navicular are invariably flat. If the child is active and involved in various athletic activities, this will aggravate the inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the accessory navicular. This tendon is called the posterior tibial tendon and is responsible for maintaining the strength of the arch of the foot. The flat-footedness associated with the accessory navicular usually brings the child for treatment.
Just having an accessory navicular bone is not necessarily a bad thing. Not all people with these accessory bones have symptoms. Symptoms arise when the accessory navicular is overly large or when an injury disrupts the fibrous tissue between the navicular and the accessory navicular. A very large accessory navicular can cause a bump on the instep that rubs on your shoe causing pain.
What do eccentric heel drops do? are the signs/symptoms of Accessory Navicular Syndrome? Pain in the foot following trauma (such as after an ankle sprain) Chronic irritation from shoes or other footwear rubbing against the bone. A visible bony prominence on the inner side of the foot just above the arch. Redness and swelling of that area. Vague pain or throbbing in the arch mostly occuring during or after periods of physical activity. Symptoms appear most often during adolescence, but some may not occur until adulthood.
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
Initial treatment is conservative. With the first episode of symptoms, a medial heel wedge, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy can be helpful. If very painful, a cast or boot may be needed for a short period time before the wedge and physical therapy can be initiated. Very rarely is a steroid injection warranted or recommended. As the pain improves, patients can resume activities. For a minority of patients, an arch support or custom orthotic can help to take some of the extra pressure off of the accessory navicular and the posterior tibial tendon.
If non-operative treatment fails to relieve the patient’s symptoms, surgical intervention may be warranted. The standard operative treatment of an accessory navicular is a Kidner procedure. However, if surgery is undertaken it is important that it address the underlying source of the patients pain.
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