by Dr. Brant McCartan
Not all feet are created equal. If you have been keeping up with our blog, this is not news to you. However, for our new readers… not all feet are created equal! This fact is even true to the types and number of bones in your feet. There are a multitude of “accessory” bones that show up frequently in our population, most commonly in the hands and feet. In other words, you may have an extra bone in your foot! These bones are asymptomatic – meaning they don’t cause any pain or issues – in the majority of people. However there are some situations that they will cause problems.
Not only do these oddball bones show up quite often throughout the general population, they also can occur all over the foot. There are, however, the more common accessory bones. These include, but are not limited to; the Accessory Navicular (which occurs in about 10% of the population), the Os Tibiale Externum, the Os Trigonum, the Os Peroneum, the Os Supranaviculare, etc. The list goes on and on with different names for different locations. The important part is, of course, how it affects our patients.
In some cases, extra foot bones can be located inside muscle tendons. Or, these bones may irritate the muscle, tendons and surrounding tissue when the muscle is used. They can form a bump that rubs uncomfortably on your shoes. Accessory bones can be in between the “normal” bones of the foot and cause different forms of arthritis. These bones also can become aggravated themselves, infected, and even necrotic (dying tissue), just like any other bone of the body. They can sometimes be mistaken for a fracture. If you are having issues in your foot, or even have a bump you don’t recognize, set up an appointment and have us take a look. A foot and ankle expert may be able to correctly diagnose something that other providers have missed.