Some people have more bones in their feet than others. Actually, it?s not all that uncommon to have extra bones in the feet. These extra bones area called accessory bones. The navicular bone, one of the small bones located at the instep or arch of the middle of the foot, is an example of an extra bone people are born with. It?s called the accessory navicular bone. During the maturation process, the navicular and the accessory navicular never fuse into one solid bone, but remain connected by fibrous tissue or cartilage. It is estimated that 4-14% of the population are born with an accessory navicular bone.
People who have an accessory navicular often are unaware of the condition if it causes no problems. However, some people with this extra bone develop a painful condition known as accessory navicular syndrome when the bone and/or posterior tibial tendon are aggravated. This can result from any of the following. Trauma, as in a foot or ankle sprain. Chronic irritation from shoes or other footwear rubbing against the extra bone. Excessive activity or overuse.
It?s common for any symptoms to present during adolescence, when bones are maturing, though problems may not occur until adulthood. You may notice a bony prominence on the inner side of the midfoot. There may or may not be redness and swelling around this bump, especially if it rubs against footwear. You may be prone to blisters or sores in the area. Pain generally involves a vague ache or throbbing in the midfoot and arch as well, especially when you?re active. Many people with this syndrome develop flat feet, too, which can create additional strain in the foot.
An initial assessment What is the Ilizarov method? an orthopaedic office begins with a thorough history and complete physical exam, including an assessment of the posterior tibial tendon and areas of tenderness. Associated misalignments of the ankle and foot should be noted. Finally, weight-bearing x-rays of the foot will help in making the diagnosis. Sometimes, an MRI may be needed to see if the posterior tibial tendon is involved with the symptoms or getting more clarity on the anatomy of the accessory navicular.
Non Surgical Treatment
Rest is the most important factor in relieving your pain. You may need to immobilize your foot to allow the affected tissues to rest enough that they can heal. Icing the area will help decrease any inflammation and swelling. Our staff may recommend anti-inflammatory medications as well. Most likely you will need to change your footwear-and possibly add orthotics-to accommodate your bony prominence and relieve strain in the midfoot. Sometimes physical therapy may be able to help strengthen tissues and prevent additional injuries.
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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