The bones of the foot occasionally develop abnormally in a child and an extra bone called an accessory navicular is present towards the inside of the foot, in front of the ankle. This bone is present in approximately 10% of the general population but not large enough to cause symptoms in the majority of these individuals. The extra bone lump present in childhood can be quite uncomfortable because it rubs on shoes. In addition, the feet associated with the accessory navicular are invariably flat. If the child is active and involved in various athletic activities, this will aggravate the inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the accessory navicular. This tendon is called the posterior tibial tendon and is responsible for maintaining the strength of the arch of the foot. The flat-footedness associated with the accessory navicular usually brings the child for treatment.
It is commonly believed that the posterior tibial tendon loses its vector of pull to heighten the arch. As the posterior muscle contracts, the tendon is no longer pulling straight up on the navicular but must course around the prominence of bone and first pull medially before pulling upward. In addition, the enlarged bones may irritate and damage the insertional area of the posterior tibial tendon, making it less functional. Therefore, the presence of the accessory navicular bone does contribute to posterior tibial dysfunction.
Adolescence is a common time for the symptoms to first appear. This is a time when bones are maturing and cartilage is developing into bone. Sometimes, however, the symptoms do not occur until adulthood. The signs and symptoms of accessory navicular syndrome include a visible bony prominence on the midfoot (the inner side of the foot, just above the arch) Redness and swelling of the bony prominence. Vague pain or throbbing in the midfoot and arch, usually occurring during or after periods of activity.
Accessory navicular syndrome is diagnosed by asking about symptoms and examining the foot for skin irritation and swelling. Doctors may assess the area for discomfort by pressing on the bony prominence. Foot structure, muscle strength, joint motion and walking patterns may also be evaluated.
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 you have an operation to make you taller? 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.
In my experience, the Modified Kidner procedure is one of the most reliable operations for reducing arch pain associated with an accessory navicular bone (a.k.a. os tibial externum). You can also use this procedure to treat a prominence at the inner aspect of the arch, which has been caused by an enlarged navicular bone. The most common patients to visit our office with these problems are between the ages of 8 and 15 and are involved in activities like ice skating, ballet and soccer.
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