Everyone has one navicular bone: one of the small bones of the foot. A small number of people have a second small navicular bone or piece of cartilage located on the inside of the foot just above the arch: both are simply called an "accessary navicular bone." It is located within the posterior tibial tendon which attaches in this area. It is easy to see as a "bump." Most that have it never have pain. If they get pain, we call it: "Accessary navicular bone syndrome."
What causes pain in the back of the heel?
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.
If you develop accessory navicular syndrome, you may experience a throbbing sensation or other types of pain in your midfoot or arch (especially while or right after you use the foot heavily, such as during exercise), and you may notice a bony prominence on the interior of your foot above the arch. This prominence may become inflamed, which means it will likely feel warm to the touch, look red and swollen, and will probably hurt.
The foot and ankle are prone to bony ?accessories? which usually have no accompanying symptoms. Accessory navicular syndrome is often diagnosed when an adolescent complains of pain in the foot. Girls are more susceptible than boys, and the condition is usually bilateral, occurring in both feet. Navicular accessory syndrome may be diagnosed when a trauma (foot or ankle sprain) aggravates the bone or tibial tendon, or when there is chronic irritation from footwear or overuse.
Non Surgical Treatment
Most children?s symptoms are improved or resolved by taking a break from activities that irritate their feet. Shoe inserts that pad the accessory navicular area are also helpful. If your child?s symptoms do not improve, your physician may recommend a below-the-knee cast or walking boot. Surgery is rarely needed.
Surgery may be an option if non-surgical treatment does not decrease the symptoms of accessory navicular syndrome. Since this bone is not needed for the foot to function normally, Your surgeon may remove the accessory navicular, reshape the area, and repair the posterior tibial tendon for improved function.
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