Os tibiale navicular refers to an extra bone found in the foot. An accessory bone is a bone that is not normally found in the average human, but in most cases is not considered abnormal. This condition represents a secondary ossification center (growth center) of the navicular bone. It is present from birth. The navicular bone is found on the inside part of the foot.
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 of this syndrome would include redness, swelling and tenderness over the navicular bone. The navicular bone What is a heel lift? located on the inside of the foot approximately midway between the ankle bone and big toe joint. It will tend to be worse after activity and can be aggravated by those that wear very dressy shoes as opposed to casual shoes like sneakers. In other words, the flatter or less supportive the shoe, the greater the chance for pain.
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
Although operative treatment, and removal of the accessory navicular is possible, this is not usually indicated at first. Conservative nonoperative treatment is best, the course depending on the severity of the symptoms. When the pain is very severe, which could indicate a fracture, a period of immobilization might be required. This is done by waring a fracture boot, or a cast, which can help the ossicle stay stable, aiding in healing. Immobilization usually lasts between 4 to 6 weeks. Afterwards, physical therapy exercise, or any appropriate home course, should be used to help strengthen the ankle and return the ankle and foot to full range of motion, and have no pain on movement. Sometimes crutches are used when weight bearing is too painful, but it is best to try to bear weight when possible.
If conservative measures do not seem to help, however, you may need to have surgery to make adjustments to the bump. This could include reshaping the little bone, repairing damage to the posterior tibial tendon, or even removing the accessory navicular altogether.
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