We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Navicular Bone?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The term navicular bone tends to refer to a bone at the top of the foot, located in close proximity to where foot and ankle meet. While most people will now accept this as the location of the bone, a bone in the wrist, most often called the scaphoid bone, used to be called the navicular too. It’s still possible to find mention of fractures of the navicular that are really referencing wrist fractures.

The wrist is not the only possible bone fracture site, and there are plenty of ways for the navicular bone to become injured. Blunt trauma, especially as caused by heavy things rolling onto the top of the foot may cause fracture of the bone. Some suggest that this bone is prone to stress fractures, and it therefore may be particularly common as an injury site among athletes. The bone may be affected by osteoporosis, resulting in greater risk of stress fractures, but a high number of navicular fractures also happen in teens.

Injury to the navicular bone may result in a variety of symptoms depending on severity. People could have difficulty putting weight on the foot, and pain could spread across the top of the foot, making it hard to bend the foot in an up and down motion. When such symptoms are present, especially if injury is suspected from trauma or high activity levels, people should see a doctor to get diagnosis. Treatment of fracture can include casting and sometimes surgery if the bone is severely displaced or broken.

What makes this matter confusing is that some people have what is called an accessory navicular bone. Essentially, this is an extra bone that is located on the inside portion of the foot, at approximately the arch, and it is in addition to the standard navicular at the top of the foot. The navicular and its accessory, when present, connect together with cartilage, and this can occasionally pose some problems.

Some people injure the cartilage between the two bones, with painful consequences. Walking and taking each step may become very difficult. The arch may be especially pained by this, and even without injury, some people report painful arches that may be caused by the accessory navicular bone. Others don’t experience this and walk without pain for life, but if people have an accessory, which most often develops in females, they may need to eventually treat it.

In some instances the best treatment is to remove the accessory navicular bone. This can end pain when walking, though several weeks’ recovery time and some physical therapy could be required after the surgery. Other people manage problems with a painful accessory bone by using over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a TheHealthBoard contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By pharmchick78 — On Oct 02, 2010

Did you know some people are actually born with an extra navicular bone, called an accessory navicular bone? This foot abnormality is congenital, and usually doesn't cause a whole lot of problems.

In fact, it is easy to mistake an accessory navicular bone for an enlarged single navicular bone, but it is easy to see the difference on an X-ray.

Most of the times an accessory navicular bone won't cause any problems, but if they do occur, it's likely to be foot pain and swelling around the ankle. This can look somewhat like ankle tendinitis, so it can take a while for doctors to come up with a diagnosis of navicular bone pain.

However, it's easy to fix -- the majority of problems can be treated non-surgically, but if the navicular bone pain continues, an easy surgery can clear it up.

By pleats — On Oct 02, 2010

What could be some causes of navicular bone pain other than trauma? And would that bone pain manifest in the same way as a calcaneus fracture? I have a long history of heel bone pain combined with ankle tendinitis, so I'm more than familiar with these kinds of issues, but I'm always wanting to learn more.

Can anybody enlighten me?

By Charlie89 — On Oct 02, 2010

Often times horses have problems with their navicular bone too. A horse may favor the leg that's having the problem, and the horses hoof may appear unusual as well.

Other signs of problems with the navicular bone in horses are lameness, signs consistent with arthritis, and in the case of a serious condition in which the navicular bone actually splits (this is called a bipartite navicular bone) long-term gait problems.

Although many horses recover from navicular bone problems, some unfortunately never turn up sound again.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen

Writer

With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a TheHealthBoard contributor, Tricia...
Read more
TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.