Accessory Navicular

An accessory navicular is a congenital condition where there is an extraneous bone on the inner side of the foot. This bone is connected via tissue or cartilage to the navicular, which helps form the foot's arch.

What You Need To Know About an Accessory Navicular

What Is an Accessory Navicular?

An accessory navicular is an additional bone that is connected to the navicular. When working properly, the navicular is a small, flat bone that makes up the inner part of the foot's arch. An accessory navicular occurs when an extraneous bone is connected to the navicular with fibrous tissue or cartilage.

Accessory navicular syndrome is a congenital condition, meaning the extra bone is present at birth. While the condition is uncommon, people who have an accessory navicular may not be aware that they have one. However, some people with this condition may develop foot pain or be at higher risk of a foot injury. If you're suffering from accessory navicular pain, schedule an appointment with our Foot and Ankle specialists today.

What Causes an Accessory Navicular?

The majority of people with accessory naviculars do not have symptoms. However, this extraneous bone can irritate the posterior tibial tendon, causing pain and swelling. People who do experience accessory navicular syndrome develop pain due to overuse, direct trauma, or chronic irritation from shoes.

While no one knows what causes accessory navicular syndrome, it is a congenital condition. Experts think that it may be caused by an incomplete fusion of the bone and connective tissue during development. It may also be caused by an abnormal separation of the bone and connective tissue.

Accessory Navicular Symptoms

Accessory navicular symptoms often appear during adolescence. However, in some, symptoms can start in adulthood. Many patients present with a prominent bony area on the medial, or inner side, of the foot or arch. They may also experience pain, swelling, and occasional redness. These symptoms are usually aggravated by walking or standing for long periods of time.

How Is an Accessory Navicular Diagnosed?

During your appointment with a Resurgens foot physician, they will talk to you about your medical history and ask how the condition started. Then, your doctor will do a physical exam, pressing the bony prominence to check your pain and feel the texture of the protrusion. This exam is brief and only causes mild discomfort.

Then, your physician will order diagnostic imaging to examine the structure of your foot and rule out any other potential conditions. From there, they will make a diagnosis and talk to you about your treatment options to get you moving again.

Accessory Navicular Treatment

There are both non-surgical and surgical accessory navicular treatments. Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of your condition. Treatments for accessory navicular syndrome include:

Non-Surgical Treatment

Non-surgical accessory navicular treatment seeks to relieve the symptoms with simple methods that can be done at home. Treatments may include:

  • Ice

  • Immobilization

  • NSAIDs

  • Physical therapy

  • Orthotic insoles to support the arch

Surgical Treatment

If the accessory navicular syndrome is not improving with non-surgical methods, accessory navicular surgery may be necessary to remove the extraneous bone. Since the bone is not needed for the foot to function, removing it often alleviates symptoms after recovery. In some cases, the accessory navicular must be removed and the posterior tibial tendon must also be reattached to the sole of the foot. Accessory navicular bone surgery is 90% effective at alleviating painful symptoms.

If you're struggling with accessory navicular pain, schedule an appointment with a Resurgens Foot physician today and get moving again.

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