Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Understanding Navicular Stress Fractures

The navicular bone is one of the 26 bones in the foot and is located across the inside top of the foot just in front of the ankle joint. The navicular connects the ankle to the foot bones and helps to form the arch that enables you to walk. Navicular stress fractures, which are hairline cracks in the bone, are often sustained by athletes who kick, twist or sprint. The result is often a chronic midfoot ache, but the vague location of the pain may make it difficult to diagnose. Hopping or standing on tiptoe can be one way of recognizing a navicular stress fracture. Someone with extremely high arches or a longer second toe may be more likely to sustain this injury, experts believe. X-rays may not be able to recognize navicular stress fractures, but an MRI or other imaging test can be more successful. Treatment may involve staying off the foot and wearing a cast for up to six weeks, or longer. If midfoot pain is becoming a nuisance, please consult with a podiatrist for a complete exam, diagnosis and options for treatment. 

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Toe-tal Family Footcare Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Vista, CA and Las Vegas, NV . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle