When BCEP wrapped up, I followed-up with my physical therapist about my injured foot. Unfortunately, nothing had really changed since I’d last seen him in January. It still hurt anytime I pushed too hard or walked too far on uneven ground, or for no particular reason at all that I could tell. My PT referred me to a sports medicine doc, who did about five minutes worth of ultrasound imaging and confirmed that, yep, I have an accessory navicular bone. I have one in each foot. I had suspected as much and even discussed it with my PT, so I wasn’t particularly surprised. He also imaged my posterior tibial tendon and said it looks fine—and that at least was great news, since that’s what I originally injured when I sprained and re-sprained my ankle last fall. The posterior tibial tendon attaches at the navicular, though, and the attachment point is what’s still irritated, inflamed, and upset… because of the extra bone interfering.
Somewhere in the vicinity of ten percent (ish) of the population have an accessory navicular in at least one foot, according to the internet. Some percentage of that percentage never have any problem with it (my mom, for example). Some percentage start to have issues in adolescence. Some, like me, go a long time with no problems obviously related to the accessory navicular and then aggravate the posterior tibial tendon (e.g. by rolling the ankle a couple times, hiking on it for three more days, and then running a couple of 5ks before seeking treatment, I guess) and… here we are.
The doc said that since I’d already been doing PT for months, the next step was immobilization—”just shut it down,” he said. So I’m two weeks in to four weeks of wearing this big plastic boot (and not the fun kind of big plastic boot) and hoping for the best. I listen to the PTs at work talk to their patients about chronic pain all the time, and I know my nerves have a bad habit, so to speak. Lately I get these weird flashes of pain from my right navicular, too, even though it’s my left that’s injured and booted, so yeah, I’m sure some of it is fear translated into pain signals. But it makes me feel weaker than strong. Sort of helpless. I’m sick of swimming already. I just want to hike and run and climb, and I’m really scared I won’t be able to do the things I really, really want to do.