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Accessory Navicular Syndrome

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Learn more about accessory navicular syndrome and its symptoms and treatment options.

The accessory navicular is an extra piece of cartilage or bone on the inner side of the foot. It is found in about 10 percent of individuals and is present at birth. Many people who have an accessory navicular are never aware of it because they do not experience symptoms. However, aggravation of the accessory navicular or the posterior tibia tendon, which it is attached to, can develop as a result of:

  • Trauma
  • Irritation from shoes
  • Excessive overuse

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Symptoms

Symptoms of accessory navicular syndrome often appear in adolescence, when bones are maturing. Symptoms include:

  • A visible bony prominence on the midfoot
  • Redness and swelling
  • Vague pain or throbbing in the arch, especially after physical activity

Treatments

Treating accessory navicular syndrome is focused on relieving symptoms. Some treatment methods are:

  • Icing to reduce swelling
  • Immobilization with a cast or walking boot to reduce inflammation and promote healing
  • Medications to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Physical therapy to strengthen muscles
  • Orthotics to support the arch
  • Surgery may be needed to remove the accessory bone and reshape the area if other methods are not successful
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