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Navicular Fractures, Running, and Hockey Pucks

Posted Nov 30 2008 12:15pm

I had never heard of the Navicular Bone until I took a slap shot to the foot during a hockey game and could barely walk for the next few days.  A PT friend of mine took a look and thought it might be a Navicular Bone stress fracture and that I should get an x-ray.

Before visiting the doc I did some reading on the web regarding this bone I had never paid much attention to.  I learned that the Navicular is the pronounced bone you can find by sliding your fingers from your inner ankle towards your big toe.  Several medical articles mention Navicular fractures being a common running injury, mainly related to excessive pronation, that often go undiagnosed because the  x-rays don’t always pick up the stress fracture.   The scary part is that most fractures come with ligament damage and severe cases must be surgecially repaired.

After two weeks of not being able to run (although I was still biking and swimming to stay in shape for an olympic tri) I gave in and made a rush x-ray appointment that sure enough turned up negative.  This would normally have been great news but the radiologist confirmed my research and told me to take it easy because the fractures are hard to detect on the Navicular.  Fortunately, after toning down my training for 2.5 weeks I started gradually feeling better and was back to running.  I consider myself lucky and would recommend that anyone having foot discomfort imparing walking or running seek immediate medical attention for a faster overall recovery; and of course to avoid taking slappers off the inside of your skate boot.

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