Friday, March 21, 2014

Acessory Navicular Syndrome

I visited my podiatrist yesterday to help get a handle on my latest injury.  About 4 weeks ago, I started having arch pain after a 20 mile long run.  I was able to manage the pain with ice and NSAIDs, and kept running.  However, the pain hasn't been getting better.

I initially thought it was a case of PF developing so I started stretching my calves again (hadn't stretched in a very long time).  And then, after about 2 weeks, I thought it might have been a sprain in my abductor hallucis since that's where the pain settled.  Most recently, the pain has settled in the navicular region, which is the prominent bump on the inside of your foot, below the medial malleous.  This is where the posterior tibial tendon inserts on the under side of your foot, so my injury has developed into a minor case of tendonitis. 

It turns out, I have an accessory navicular bone, which makes my bump protrude a little more than normal.  It's something that you're born with.  I've been running with no problems with it for years.  However, I'm guessing the combination of extra hill work, combined with lunges, combined with trying to save a little money by running in worn out shoes caused me to fall off the edge.  Training/running is about finding your edge, taking your body to a point of extremes, without falling off the cliff.

This problem can lead to falling arches, and increased pain with physical activity, and possible posterior tibial tendon problems.  This can be manageable, but often results in surgery if the pain doesn't improve.  For now, my doctor has taped my foot to help provide more support for the arch.  However, the taping appears to be aggravating my navicular bone even more.  My arch doesn't hurt anymore, it's just the navicular. Anyhow, he suggested that I try to run, but even walking is painful now.  He also feels that I need to be in custom orthotics.  I've been wearing Superfeet Green for about 4 years, after trying a pair of custom orthotics early in my running career.  I've got insurance coverage for it, so it's worth a shot.  And, if we can't get the pain under control, it would eventually result in the removal of the extra bone, and about 6 months of recovery.

My Grand Canyon run is in 6 weeks.  Or, it could just be a vacation to see the Grand Canyon as a tourist, and not as an ultra runner.  It's just running.  It's amazing to me that runners put so "much" into our sport.  It's also a little disturbing to me at the same time that we put so "much" into our sport.  Perhaps injuries are a good time to self assess, and perhaps take a step back.  Runners often push themselves too hard, in some case (present company included), we go too far.

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