A navicular fracture is a fracture of the navicular bone of the foot, a bone on the top of the midfoot. Athletes are particularly susceptible to fractures of the navicular bone. (There is also a navicular bone in the wrist.)
Navicular Bone of the Foot
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A navicular fracture can be caused by a fall, severe twist, or direct trauma to the navicular bone. It can also be caused by repeated stress to the foot, creating a fracture not due to any acute trauma (a stress fracture).
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
The following factors may increase your risk of a navicular fracture:
- High-impact sports (such as track and field, gymnastics, tennis, basketball)
- Being an adolescent
- In women, abnormal or absent menstrual cycles
- Military service
- Osteoporosis or other bone conditions
Symptoms of a navicular fracture include:
- Vague, aching pain in the top, middle portion of your foot, which may radiate along your arch
- Increasing pain with activity
- Pain on one foot only
- Altered gait
- Pain that resolves with rest
- Swelling of the foot
- Tenderness to touch on the inside aspect of the foot
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam, which will include a thorough examination of your foot. Other tests may include:
- X-ray — to take a picture of possible bone fractures
- Bone scan — to look for possible bone fractures
- CT scan — to take a picture of possible bone fractures
- MRI scan — to take a picture of possible bone fractures. This is particularly useful with stress fractures.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
Most cases of navicular fracture respond well to being placed in a cast that holds the bones in place. You will need to use crutches to help you walk. Once the bone has healed, your doctor will recommend a rehabilitation program that will allow you to eventually return to your normal activities.
In rare cases of severe fracture, you may need surgery to realign the bone. This involves placing a metal plate and/or screws or pins to hold the bone in place. You will need to wear a cast or splint after the surgery. You will also need to use crutches to help you walk.
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Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.