The accessory navicular is an extra piece of bone or cartilage just above the arch on the inside of the foot. It sits next to the navicular tarsal, which gives it its name, where the posterior tibial tendon attaches to the bone before continuing to the underside of the arch. The little bone is a congenital anomaly, you are born with it. If the extra tissue doesn?t cause any problems, you may never know it is there. You can, however, develop the painful condition called accessory navicular syndrome. This occurs when the extra bone or the posterior tibial tendon surrounding it becomes irritated. Trauma from a sprain, friction from footwear, and overuse can all inflame the tissues.
An accessory navicular develops as a result of a congenital anomaly and is found more often in women. If the bone is large, it may rub against a shoe, causing pain. Because of its location, the posterior tibial tendon may pull on the bone during walking or running, causing the fibrous tissue that connects the accessory navicular to the navicular to tear and become inflamed.
Many people have accessory (?extra?) naviculars (figure 1) - a prominent extra bone extending from the navicular bone. Most accessory naviculars are completely asymptomatic. However, some individuals will develop pain on the inside of their midfoot. Pain may occur from the pressure of the shoe ware against the prominence, irritating either the bone itself or the fibrous junction where the accessory bone meets the regular navicular. Alternatively, the fibrous junction or interface may become painful as a result of tension applied by the posterior tibial tendon through its connection or insertion at that site. Often, individuals will be asymptomatic for years, however, a new pair of shoes or a change in their activity level can cause symptoms. The accessory navicular itself typically develops during adolescence, when the two areas of the navicular bone fail to fuse together.
The diagnosis begins with a complete history and physical examination by your surgeon. Usually the condition is suggested by the history and the tenderness over the area of the navicular. X-rays will usually be required to allow the surgeon see the accessory navicular. Generally no other tests are required.
Non Surgical Treatment
If the foot becomes painful following a twisting type of injury and an X-ray reveals the presence of an accessory navicular bone, your doctor may recommend a period of immobilization in a cast or splint. This will rest the foot and perhaps allow the disruption between the navicular and accessory navicular to heal. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication. Sometimes an arch support can relieve the stress on the fragment and decrease the symptoms. If the pain subsides and the fragment becomes asymptomatic, further treatment may not be necessary.
If conservative measures How long do you grow during puberty? 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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