Hi again! I’m Dawn’s friend Alexa and I’m guest-posting while Dawn’s away! As Dawn and I have both mentioned before, I had foot surgery last March (called a kidner procedure to remove my accessory navicular). I thought I’d take a little time to talk about it!
When I was in high school, I broke a bone in my foot. Every doctor kept thinking I meant my ankle, but when they finally took an x-ray of my foot, they saw the broken bone and put me in a boot. I missed most of my senior year of field hockey, but otherwise seemed to recover fine. In college I was able to play field hockey and go running, generally without any problems. My foot would bother me a little sometimes, but it always went away. When I graduated from college, I decided to start running to keep active. I started off slow, training for a 10k. Then I started training for a half marathon. That training was great for the first few weeks. But slowly, as my mileage began building up, even a shorter run of less than 3 miles would irritate my foot. It seemed that the constant running was becoming a problem.
So I went to an orthopedist who did a very thorough examination and informed me that I had an accessory navicular. Look at the picture below, but it’s basically an extra bone in the arch of your foot. I thought that bone was just large on me, but I never realized it was extra and I wasn’t supposed to have it! Apparently, only about 2% of the population has the accessory navicular bone (2.5% according to wikipedia).
The problem with having this bone (and flat feet, which I think it’s common for people with accessory naviculars to be flat footed) is that it creates stress on the tendon that reaches around under the accessory navicular. My orthopedist explained that over time, lots of exercise can cause 1) rubbing on the tendon and 2) a slight movement of the accessory navicular. Both of which are fine for a short distance or not training regularly, but it creates irritation over time. The only way to fix it is either to lower my exercise (which wouldn’t be a good because it’s healthy for me and I’d love to run a marathon one day!) or to have a kidner procedure to remove the accessory navicular.
The way to deal with it is to cut the tendon, remove the accessory navicular, and reattach the tendon. Thus, most of the recovery is because the tendon needs to attach itself to the navicular and regain strength (see the image below).
As you would expect, the recovery is supposed to be faster for teens than for even me in my 20s, which should still be faster than if I were 40. Either way, for my specific recovery (cannot be applied to other people), I spent the first two weeks with a temporary cast, basically lying down, hopped up on pain meds, and watching tons of Friends episodes! Two weeks after the surgery, I got the stitches out and they looked over the incision site to make sure all was well. Up until that point, I was on crutches and not allowed to put any weight on my foot. I basically bummed around, keeping my foot elevated and spilling food on myself from trying to eat while lying down! Two weeks after that, I was allowed to slowly put weight on my foot. To do that, they told me to stand on a scale and slowly add weight until it equaled 10% of my weight. And each day I added another 10% to the total. I kept using the crutches for the most part, but I slowly switched to a cane to really feel like an old lady!
About six weeks after the surgery, I was able to put full weight on my foot and start physical therapy. That started with twice a week and then dropped to once a week. Less than seven months after the surgery, I was pretty much running and exercising normally.
Like I said before, that was my experience with my kidner procedure (the removal of the accessory navicular). Everyone is different and has different experiences/specific medical conditions. But when I was told I would need a kidner procedure, I was having a really hard time finding information on the web. I thought this might be helpful for others…all 2% of us :) Just to make sure Dawn and I don’t get in trouble, this is not official medical advice!! Just my personal experience :)
I’m going to do another post soon about my recovery from surgery. While my specific surgery was pretty unique, my recovery was not. I hope that will help some people who may also be recovering from surgery! Stay tuned!
Have you had surgery due to exercise? Did you try to learn from other people’s experiences before your surgery? What resources were helpful to you?