A navicular fracture is a fracture of the navicular bone of the foot, a bone on the top of the midfoot. Athletes are particularly susceptible to fractures of the navicular bone. (There is also a navicular bone in the wrist.)
A navicular fracture can be caused by a fall, severe twist, or direct trauma to the navicular bone. It can also be caused by repeated stress to the foot, creating a fracture not due to any acute trauma (a stress fracture ).
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
The following factors may increase your risk of a navicular fracture:
Symptoms of a navicular fracture include:
- Vague, aching pain in the top, middle portion of your foot, which may radiate along your arch
- Increasing pain with activity
- Pain on one foot only
- Altered gait
- Pain that resolves with rest
- Swelling of the foot
- Tenderness to touch on the inside aspect of the foot
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam, which will include a thorough examination of your foot. Other tests may include:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
Most cases of navicular fracture respond well to being placed in a cast that holds the bones in place. You will need to use crutches to help you walk. Once the bone has healed, your doctor will recommend a rehabilitation program that will allow you to eventually return to your normal activities.
In rare cases of severe fracture, you may need surgery to realign the bone. This involves placing a metal plate and/or screws or pins to hold the bone in place. You will need to wear a cast or splint after the surgery. You will also need to use crutches to help you walk.
To prevent navicular fractures and other fractures of the foot:
- Wear well-fitting, supportive shoes appropriate for the type of activity you are doing.
- Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.
- Do weight-bearing exercises to build strong bones.
- Build strong muscles and practice balancing exercises to prevent falls.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -