Recovery Time After Accessory Navicular Surgery

Recovery Time After Accessory Navicular Surgery

Overview
The navicular bone of the foot is one of the small bones on the mid-foot. The bone is located at the instep, the arch at the middle of the foot. One of the larger tendons of the foot, called the posterior tibial tendon, attaches to the navicular before continuing under the foot and into the forefoot. This tendon is a tough band of tissue that helps hold up the arch of the foot. If there is an accessory navicular, it is located in the instep where the posterior tibial tendon attaches to the real navicular bone.

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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
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).

Diagnosis
During your clinical exam, you may note erythema to the navicular prominence area and a foot that collapses in stance. While it?s common to see flat feet with these patients, this may not always be the case. You will note a significant difference in the off-weightbearing arch compared to the foot in stance, which is lower. These patients will always have pain to the navicular bone, especially at the major insertion of the posterior tibial tendon just proximal and also inferior to the navicular bone. You may also find they have pain on resisted adduction.

Non Surgical Treatment
Many individuals with symptomatic accessory naviculars can be managed successfully without surgery. Standard non-surgical treatment includes shoes that are soft around the inside of the ankle can allow for any excess prominence of bone. Therefore, it is recommended that either shoes with plenty of padding and space in the ankle area are purchased, or pre-owned shoes can be modified by a shoemaker to create extra space in this area. For example, many patients will get their ski boots expanded in the area around the prominence, minimizing irritation. In addition, a shoe with a stiff sole will help disperse force away from the arch of the foot during walking, thereby minimizing the force on the posterior tibial tendon. An off-the-shelf arch support may help decrease the stress applied by the posterior tibial tendon. If necessary, an ankle brace applied to provide more substantial support to the arch may be successful Where is the Achilles heel? a simple arch support fails.

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Surgical Treatment
If non-surgical treatment fails to relieve the symptoms of accessory navicular syndrome, surgery may be appropriate. Surgery may involve removing the accessory bone, reshaping the area, and repairing the posterior tibial tendon to improve its function. This extra bone is not needed for normal foot function.