Accessary bone syndrome affects overpronators because of irritation in this area. Improper fitting shoes can also irritate the area. When pain becomes such that it changes running form or becomes intolerable, something needs to be done. Surgery alone without addressing causative factors is useless. Pain returns and new cartilage returns in the tendon, and the inflammation causes pain.
Just having an accessory navicular bone is not necessarily a bad thing. Not all people with these accessory bones have symptoms. Symptoms arise when the accessory navicular is overly large or when an injury disrupts the fibrous tissue between the navicular and the accessory navicular. A very large accessory navicular can cause a bump on the instep that rubs on your shoe causing pain.
One obvious problem with the accessory navicular is that it may be large and stick out from the inside of the foot. This can cause it to rub against shoes and so become quite painful. The fibrous connection between the accessory navicular and the navicualar, as well, is easy to injure, also leading to pain. This is kind of like a fracture, and such injuries cause the bone to move around too easily, leading to pain with activity. When the connection between the bones is injured in this way, the two bones do not always heal properly, so pain may continue unabated.
Keep in mind there are two different types of accessory navicular bones, which you can distinguish by getting a weightbearing AP X-ray of the foot. Dwight has classified type I as a small, round and discreet accessory bone just proximal to the main navicular bone. Geist described the type II accessory bone, which is closely related to the body of the navicular but separated by an irregular plate of dense fibro-cartilage.
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 you have an operation to make you taller? 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.
If your pain and discomfort don’t go away with treatments like these, then it may be time to consider surgery. If you decide to go through with it, your surgeon will probably remove the accessory navicular once and for all, and will tighten up the posterior tibial tendon in order to make it better able to support your arch. You’ll probably have to wear a cast for a several weeks, and a brace for some months after that, but with patience, you may be able to say goodbye to your symptoms.
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