Not everyone has the same number of bones in his feet. It is not uncommon for both the hands and the feet to contain extra small accessory bones, or ossicles, that sometimes cause problems. This guide will help you understand where the accessory navicular is located, why the extra bone can cause problems and How do you strengthen your Achilles tendon
? doctors treat the condition.Causes
Like all painful conditions, ANS has a root cause. The cause could be the accessory navicular bone itself producing irritation from shoes or too much activity. Often, however, it is related to injury of one of the structures that attach to the navicular bone. Structures that attach to the navicular bone include abductor hallucis muscle, plantar calcaneonavicular ligament (spring ligament) parts of the deltoid ligament, posterior tibial tendon.Symptoms
Many people with an accessory navicular do not experience symptoms, however some may notice a bump and/or swelling on the inside of the foot just above the arch. They may also experience pain in the middle of the foot, particularly with physical activity.Diagnosis
Diagnosis is fairly simple based on an examination by your doctor. He or she will palpate the navicular bone, and based on the location of pain will suspect an accessory navicular. The doctor will also observe your gait to see if you are flatfooted. At this point an x-ray will make the definitive diagnosis. Other causes of pain in the same area of the foot would include a fracture of the navicular bone or possibly tendonitis or even a partial tear of the tibialis posterior tendon that inserts into the navicular. In these cases there is usually a history of trauma. People with a naturally "large" navicular bone may also develop a bursitis due to chronic shoe pressure.Non Surgical Treatment
Treatment options for a painful accessory navicular can include anti-inflammatory medications, rest, arch support structures in the shoe, or use of a cast or splint. Severe cases may require surgery.Surgical Treatment
Once the navicular inflammation has lessened it is not necessary to perform surgery unless the foot becomes progressively flatter or continues to be painful. For these children, surgery can completely correct the problem by removing the accessory navicular bone and tightening up the posterior tibial tendon that attaches to the navicular bone. The strength of this tendon is integral to the success of this surgery as well as the arch of the foot. Following surgery the child is able to begin walking on the foot (in a cast) at approximately two weeks. The cast is worn for an additional four weeks. A small soft ankle support brace is then put into the shoe and worn with activities and exercise for a further two months.