Exercises To Help Accessory Navicular Syndrome

Overview

The accessory navicular is an ossicle, or extra bone located medially to the navicular. Depending on the type, or stage, it may be connected to the navicular by a fibrous union, via a type of joint called a synchrondrosis. In those who have this extra bone, it is present at birth, but it starts as soft cartilage and then begins to ossify (turn into bone) at around age nine. Some sources believe that, in about half of those who have it, the bone will fuse to the navicular in late adolescence, but it is not clear that this actually happens.

Accessory Navicular Syndrome

Causes

Let us see the reasons why the tendon or the bone would get aggravated. Ankle or foot sprain, irritation of the bone caused by footwear, overusing the foot, quite common in athletes and dancers. People born with this extra bone are also known develop flat feet which also adds to the strain on the posterior tibial tendon and lead to the syndrome.

Symptoms

Perhaps the most common of the extra bones in the foot, the accessory navicular bone is estimated to be present in 7 to 19 percent of the population. Zadek and Gold maintained that the bone persisted as a distinct, separate bone in 2 percent of the population. Also be aware that the accessory bone normally fuses completely or incompletely to the navicular. It is this incomplete fusion which allows for micromotion, which, in turn, may cause degenerative changes that can also contribute to the pain.

Diagnosis

To diagnose accessory navicular syndrome, the foot and ankle surgeon will ask about symptoms and examine the foot, looking for skin irritation or swelling. The doctor may press on the bony prominence to assess the area for discomfort. Foot structure, muscle strength, joint motion, and the way the patient walks may also be evaluated. X-rays are usually ordered to confirm the diagnosis. If there is ongoing pain or inflammation, an MRI or other advanced imaging tests may be used to further evaluate the condition.

Non Surgical Treatment

Rest is the most important factor in relieving your pain. You may need to immobilize your foot to allow the affected tissues to rest enough that they can heal. Icing the area will help decrease any inflammation and swelling. Our staff may recommend anti-inflammatory medications as well. Most likely you will need to change your footwear-and possibly add orthotics-to accommodate your bony prominence and relieve strain in the midfoot. Sometimes physical therapy may be able to help strengthen tissues and prevent additional injuries.

Accessory Navicular Syndrome

Surgical Treatment

Once the navicular inflammation has lessened it is not necessary to perform surgery unless the foot becomes progressively flatter or continues to be painful. For these children, surgery can completely correct the problem by removing the accessory navicular bone and tightening up the posterior tibial tendon that attaches to the navicular bone. The strength of this tendon is integral to the success of this surgery as well as the arch of the foot. Following surgery the child is able to begin walking on the foot (in a cast) at approximately two weeks. The cast is worn for an additional four weeks. A small soft ankle support brace is then put into the shoe and worn with activities and exercise for a further two months.