For most people with an accessory navicular, the extra bone does not cause any problems and most are unaware of its presence. But certain activities or circumstances may cause the extra bone or the tibialis posterior tendon that contains it to grow irritated. This is called accessory navicular syndrome, and its possible causes include sprains, overuse, or wearing shoes that constantly rub against the bone. Individuals who have a collapsed arch (commonly known as flat feet) may be at greater risk of accessory navicular syndrome, assuming they have the extra bone, because of the added daily trauma placed on the tibialis posterior tendon.
This painful foot condition is caused by an extra bone in the foot called the accessory navicular. Only about 10% of people have this bone (4 to 21%), and not all of them will develop any symptoms. The navicular bone is one of the normal tarsal bones of the foot. It is located on the inside of the foot, at the arch.
Symptoms of this syndrome would include redness, swelling and tenderness over the navicular bone. The navicular bone is located on the inside of the foot approximately midway between the ankle bone and big toe joint. It will tend to be worse after activity and can be aggravated by those that wear very dressy shoes as opposed to casual shoes like sneakers. In other words, the flatter or less supportive the shoe, the greater the chance for pain.
The diagnosis begins with a complete history and physical examination by your surgeon. Usually the condition is suggested by the history and the tenderness over the area of the navicular. X-rays will usually be required to allow the surgeon see the accessory navicular. Generally no other tests are required.
Non Surgical Treatment
Most cases of accessory navicular syndrome may be treated conservatively with some sort of immobilization. This should allow the fibrous tissue between the two bones to heal. If a patient is extremely flat footed (pronated) then I lean more towards an orthotic than a boot as my main goal is to keep the patient's foot from flattening out too much and thus reduce the strain on the two bones. Supplementation with ice, oral anti-inflammatory medication. If the patient is athletic sometimes we can keep them active with an orthotic, but other times they have to give up their sport for a period of time to allow the condition to heal.
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.