Does Accessory Navicular Syndrome Require Surgery

Does Accessory Navicular Syndrome Require Surgery

Overview
For most people with an accessory navicular, the extra bone does not cause any problems and most are unaware of its presence. But certain activities or circumstances may cause the extra bone or the tibialis posterior tendon that contains it to grow irritated. This is called accessory navicular syndrome, and its possible causes include sprains, overuse, or wearing shoes that constantly rub against the bone. Individuals who have a collapsed arch (commonly known as flat feet) may be at greater risk of accessory navicular syndrome, assuming they have the extra bone, because of the added daily trauma placed on the tibialis posterior tendon.

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Causes
An injury to the fibrous tissue connecting the two bones can cause something similar to a fracture. The injury allows movement to occur between the navicular and the accessory bone and is thought to be the cause of pain. The fibrous tissue is prone to poor healing and may continue to cause pain. Because the posterior tibial tendon attaches to the accessory navicular, it constantly pulls on the bone, creating even more motion between the fragments with each step.

Symptoms
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 compression socks help with Achilles tendonitis? not always heal properly, so pain may continue unabated.

Diagnosis
Your podiatrist will most likely diagnose accessory navicular syndrome by making a visual study of the area, checking whether the shape of your foot and your ability to move it indicate there?s an accessory navicular lurking around. He or she may push on the prominence on your foot to check to see if it hurts, and may ask you to walk around in order to ascertain how your gait is affected. In order to get a certain diagnosis, your podiatrist will need some way to see the inside of your foot, which will most likely involve getting X-rays, or possibly an MRI or some other scan of your foot?s interior.

Non Surgical Treatment
Aside from surgery, there are a few options for handling an accessory navicular bone that has become symptomatic. This includes immobilization, icing, medicating, physical therapy, and orthotic devices. Immobilizing involves placing the foot and ankle in a cast or removable walking boot. This alleviates stressors on the foot and can decrease inflammation. Icing will help reduce swelling and inflammation. Medication involves usage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroids (taken orally or injected) to decrease inflammation. Physical therapy can be prescribed in order to strengthen the muscles and help decrease inflammation. Physical therapy can also help prevent the symptoms from returning. Orthotic devices (arch support devices that fit in a shoe) can help prevent future symptoms. Occasionally, the orthotic device will dig into the edge of the accessory navicular and cause discomfort. For this reason, the orthotic devices made for the patient should be carefully constructed.

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Surgical Treatment
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.

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