Hello, I am 19 years old and have had pain in my feet around the navicular bone since I was a kid, but always thought it was normal. I recently went to an orthopedic surgeon and heard that I have slight bunions and excess navicular bones in both feet. I've had pain for years and years so I don't know how much putting heat on my feet for ten minutes a day could help (what the doctor said to do). He seemed to not recommend surgery because the risk of something going wrong was too high (5-10% chance) but does that mean I should just live with this forever. Also, I've tried wearing orthotics and found they were more uncomfortable, as lack of arch support is not my issue, toe spacers which did nothing at all, and wearing sneakers everyday. If this wasn't such an ongoing source of discomfort and limitation I would never consider surgery but nothing is working so I'm not quite sure where to go from here. If anyone can help me I would really appreciate it! How dangerous is the surgery? And is it worth it, will i be able to wear any kind of shoes after and walk comfortably? Also, how long should it take to heal? Thank you!
surgery is worth it if done by a trained surgeon. the extra bone on the navicular is probably placing tension on the posterior tibialis tendon. once this is removed, the tendon may need to be advanced to tighten up the slack caused by the xtra bone. you would be in a cast and using crutches for 6 weeks with gradual full weight bearing.
if you have pain, you should take steps to correct it.
I had surgery on both my feet for accessory navicular and bunions in the mid-90's done by an extremely skilled podiatrist in LA. The surgeries were done one foot at a time followed by hard casts by several weeks, soft casts, crutches and physical therapy. I was also fitted for orthotics which I still wear today. The surgeries were absolutely worth it - takes several months to totally heal - but defintely worth it - now I can walk long distances - even take hikes up mountains whereas prior to surgery any kind of long walk would cause me pain. Key to success is a good podiatrist who not only is extremely skilled but also truly cares about patient welfare.
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