Anatomy of the Navicular

Navicular bone is one of the seven bones that form the ankle of the foot, which in medical terms is called tarsus of the foot. It is a small oval shaped bone, present on the inner side of the ankle.

On the front, this bone joins with the three small cuneiform bones while on the back it is attached to the talus, which is also known as anklebone. Rarely, it is also connected to the cuboid bone on its lateral side.

Previously, a bone of the wrist was also known as navicular bone or more precisely hand navicular bone. Now it is called scaphoid bone, however, sometimes the term navicular bone may still point to the wrist bone.

The navicular bone is quite vulnerable to fractures especially stress fractures, which are more common in athletes and teens. The risk of having a navicular bone fracture increase in osteoporosis. The symptoms include pain and difficulty in putting weight on the affected foot. It also becomes really painful to move the foot upwards or downwards.

In some individuals, there exists an accessory navicular bone. This is an abnormal finding and is present on the inner side of the foot in front of the ankle. In many cases, it does not cause any trouble while in others it may become painful or may cause other problems in which case it needs to be removed through surgery.