Why Do People Have Extra Bones In Their Feet?

Patients develop extra bones in their feet very commonly and this can be a source of pain. We think this mostly happens genetically and many times when patients have an extra bone on one foot, it is also present on the other foot as well. We see these most commonly form within tendons, and they seem to cause pain because the tendon cannot glide like it normally should.

The most common place we see extra bones form in the foot are within the posterior tibial tendon over the navicular tuberosity (os tibiale externum) and in the peroneus longus tendon around the cuboid. It is pretty common to see extra bones form around the metatarsal heads,l but these seem to be less symptomatic for people. Another area where an extra bone can be symptomatic is over the posterior part of the talus (os trigonum) where this bone can rub on tendons when the ankle moves up and down through dorsiflexion and plantar flexion.

When extra bones within tendons are causing foot and ankle pain, orthotics and arch supports with supportive shoes can be helpful to decrease the tension on the tendon depending on where it is. Activity modification and physical therapy can also be helpful treatments for this.

If the extra bone and the tendon becomes symptomatic and fails conservative therapy, we can remove these bones and repair the tendon around the area where the bone was removed to help decrease the pain and help people return to more activities and better function.

Extra bones in the feet can cause problems and pain for people of all ages, but we do see this commonly affect teenagers as they start to become skeletally mature and their bones finish forming. A procedure called a Kidner procedure is a pretty common procedure that we perform on patients in their teenage years where we remove the extra bone over the navicular tuberosity, and then repair the posterior tibial tendon back to the remainder of the navicular bone with a suture anchor.

If you are suffering from any foot and ankle pain, call your Colorado Springs podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons at 719-488-4664.  The whole team at Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado is here to help you with all of your family's foot and ankle needs.

Author
Dr. Matthew Hinderland Board Certified Podiatrist and Foot and Ankle Surgeon

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