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Iowa Orthop J. 2019;39(1):45-49.

Effectiveness of Nonoperative Treatment of the Symptomatic Accessory Navicular in Pediatric Patients.

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University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, Iowa City, IA USA.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Desert Orthopaedic Center, Las Vegas, NV USA.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Western Reserve Hospital Cuyahoga Falls, OH USA.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH USA.



Initial management of symptomatic accessory navicular in pediatric patients is nonoperative. However, efficacy of nonoperative treatment has not been studied or established. If nonoperative treatment is frequently unsuccessful or does not give lasting pain relief, surgery could be offered as first line treatment. This study retrospectively reviewed outcomes of pediatric patients treated nonoperatively for symptomatic accessory naviculae in an effort to provide clinicians success rates for their discussion of treatment options with patients and their families.


A retrospective analysis of pediatric patients diagnosed and treated nonoperatively for a symptomatic accessory navicular bone at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center between dates August 1st, 2006 and August 24th, 2016 was performed. Outcome measures consisted of complete pain relief, partial relief without operative intervention, or need for operative intervention. Radiographic imaging for each patient was also used to identify the type of accessory navicular and presence of concurrent pes planus.


A total of 169 patients were included, with 226 symptomatic accessory naviculae. Average age at diagnosis was 11.8 years, with majority females (78%). Type 2 accessory naviculae were most frequent (72.7%), with Type 1 and Type 3 in 9.7% and 17.4%, respectively. Average number of nonoperative trials was 2.1, with 28% experiencing complete pain relief, 30% requiring surgical intervention, and 41% that experienced partial pain relief and did not require surgical intervention, and were recommended as needed (PRN) follow-up based on clinical improvement. Of those that achieved complete pain relief, the average length of non-operative treatment was 8.0 months.


The results of this study can be used by clinicians to frame discussions surrounding treatment options for symptomatic accessory navicular bones with both patients and their families.Level of Evidence: III.


accessory naviculae; nonoperative treatment; pediatric


Conflict of interest statement

Disclosures: The authors report no potential conflicts of interest related to this study.

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