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Top Physical Therapy Clinic in San Diego 2016

Accessory Navicular Syndrome

Ballet Dancer

Recently, my 13 year old son, who plays a lot of basketball, complained about having pain along the arches of his feet. Initially, I suspected it was probably “growing pains”.  At this age, many kids start to have pain symptoms in their knees (Osgood-Schlatter disease) or heel area (Sever’s disease).  Upon further inspection, we determined that he may have a condition called “accessory navicular syndrome” (ANS).

An accessory navicular is an extra bone or piece of cartilage that some people are born with.  It is located at the arch of the foot and is attached to the posterior tibialis tendon.  This area can become irritated and inflamed by overuse (e.g. – running, jumping), friction from footwear rubbing the area, or an injury (e.g. – ankle/foot sprain).  Common symptoms of ANS include:  a bony prominence or bump at the midfoot/arch, tenderness at the top of the arch, redness and swelling, pain with weight bearing activities.

Treatment for ANS is geared towards reducing inflammation and correcting mechanical factors which may be contributing to the condition.  Rest, applying cold packs, and taking NSAIDs will assist with inflammation.  Sometimes wearing a walking boot is necessary to immobilize the ankle/foot to reduce stress on the area.  Physical therapy can assist with pain control as well as stretches and exercises to improve flexibility, strength, and stability to facilitate return to sports activities. Orthotic inserts can also be used to promote better arch support and prevent reoccurrence of symptoms.  Surgery may be required if these interventions are not effective.  Fortunately, my son has responded well to the conservative treatment plan and is playing basketball without limitations.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the therapy team at ProActive Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine for help.

**Written with help from Foot Health Facts (www.foothealthfacts.org)**

About the Author - Jon

Jon is the Director of Rehabilitation at ProActive Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in 4S Ranch. He graduated with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami in 1997. Jon has been practicing outpatient orthopaedic physical therapy for the past 15 years. In 2003, he became board certified as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (OCS). Jon has extensive experience with manual therapy, treating various types of orthopaedic injuries, and working with patients of all ages. He joined the ProActive family in 2008 and has helped ProActive Physical Therapy become one of the premier therapy providers in San Diego. Jon also volunteers his time and knowledge at the athletic training department of Poway High School. When he is not assisting patients or athletes, Jon enjoys spending time with his wife, two children, family, and friends. He is an avid sports fan who enthusiastically supports the Miami Hurricanes, San Diego Chargers and Padres.

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