The accessory navicular (os navicularum or os tibiale externum) is an extra bone or piece of cartilage located on the inner side of the foot just above the arch. It is incorporated within the posterior tibial tendon, which attaches in this area. An accessory navicular is congenital (present at birth). It is not part of normal bone structure and therefore is not present in most people. People who have an accessory navicular often are unaware of the condition if it causes no problems. However, some people with this extra bone develop a painful condition known as accessory navicular syndrome when the bone and/or posterior tibial tendon are aggravated. Many people with accessory navicular syndrome also have flat feet (fallen arches). Having a flat foot puts more strain on the posterior tibial tendon, which can produce inflammation or irritation of the accessory navicular.
This painful foot condition is caused by an extra bone in the foot called the accessory navicular. Only about 10% of people have this bone (4 to 21%), and not all of them will develop any symptoms. The navicular bone is one of the normal tarsal bones of the foot. It is located on the inside of the foot, at the arch.
The majority of people with an accessory navicular experience no symptoms, since, for the most part, the little extra bone simply isn?t large enough to cause problems. Unfortunately, some people lose on ?accessory navicular roulette,? and the bone begins to mess things up with the foot. These problems usually show up sometime in adolescence, when bones and cartilage in the body are settling into their final shapes (although occasionally people make it all the way through childhood, only to start experiencing discomfort and pain in adulthood).
Accessory navicular syndrome is diagnosed by asking about symptoms and examining the foot for skin irritation and swelling. Doctors may assess the area for discomfort by pressing on the bony prominence. Foot structure, muscle strength, joint motion and walking patterns may also be evaluated.
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.
rolotherapy Strengthens the ligaments, tendons and muscle attachments affected by ANS. Prolotherapy What is the tendon at the back of your ankle? an injection technique that works to strengthen these ligament, tendon, and muscle attachments by causing a mild anti-inflammatory response in the tissues. Prolotherapy supports the body’s normal healing response to injury. The solution directed at the injured and weakened tissue will cause an influx of blood supply and regenerative cells to come to the area. As part of this healing cascade, collagen cells will also be deposited at the injured site. The tissue, which is made mostly of collagen, will become stronger and tighter as these new collagen cells mature. The injured tissue becomes healthy again. When the weakness or injury in these structures is resolved, often times the symptoms with ANS are resolved and the patient no longer suffers from chronic foot pain. In our experience, patients typically feel better soon after treatment. However, if the person desires to run again or continue to be very active, it may take 3-5 treatments to fully resolve the condition. Activity is increased during treatment as symptoms resolve.
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