Does Accessory Navicular Syndrome Warrant Surgery

Does Accessory Navicular Syndrome Warrant Surgery

Some people, possibly beginning in early adolescents, but perhaps later, can develop a painful bump on the side of their foot. The pain may be worse after athletic activity or just normal walking, and walking itself may become painful. This pain may become constant, but it will tend to improve with continued rest. Depending on the size of the bump, it may rub against shoes, or cause pain if the bump is hit by something. Over time, the arch of the foot may be lost and a flat food will develop.


Accessory navicular syndrome as it is called Can you stretch to get taller? result from a number of causes, excess or overuse syndrome as seen in an athlete. Trauma to the foot as in an ankle sprain or direct trauma to the navicular bone. chronic irritation from shoes rubbing against the extra bone, over time, may cause pain. Excessive pronation which strains the attachment of tibialis posterior muscles into the navicular bone. Keep in mind, the larger the actual accessory bone, the greater the chance of it becoming an issue.

Most people born with this bone begin to experience the symptoms (if at all any) in adolescence. Some may not develop any symptoms until adulthood. The symptoms are a visible abnormal protrusion in the mid-foot, swelling and redness of the protrusion, pain in the mid-foot after performing an activity.

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
A combination of the following non-surgical treatments may be used to relieve the symptoms of accessory navicular syndrome. Immobilizing the foot with a cast or a removable walking boot allows the foot to rest and reduces inflammation. Applying ice to the affected area is an effective way to reduce swelling and inflammation. Wrap a bag of ice with a thin towel and apply for intervals of 15 to 20 minutes. Never put ice directly on the skin. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including aspirin or ibuprofen might be prescribed. Sometimes, a combination of immobilization and oral or injected corticosteroid medications may reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy may be prescribed to include exercises and treatments that increase muscle strength, decrease inflammation and help prevent the recurrence of symptoms. Custom orthotic devices worn in the shoe provide arch support and may prevent future symptoms from developing. The symptoms of this syndrome may reappear even after successful treatment. If so, non-surgical treatments are often repeated.


Surgical Treatment
For patients who have failed conservative care or who have had recurrent symptoms, surgery can be considered. Surgical intervention requires an excision of the accessory navicular and reattachment of the posterior tibial tendon to the navicular. Often times, this is the only procedure necessary. However, if there are other deformities such as a flat foot or forefoot that is abducted, other procedures may be required.

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