Accessory Bones of the Foot

When you hear the word accessory, we tend to think of using pretty necklaces, rings or belts to enhance our outfits. But with accessory bones, they aren’t enhancing anything, but rather showing up in our x-rays as extra bones.

What is an accessory bone?

When we are born, most of our bones are cartilage that fuses and hardens over time.  In some cases, pieces of cartilage do not fuse together, but continue to harden into bone.  This lack of fusion and hardening is what causes an accessory bone.  Accessory bones are considered normal skeletal variations. In fact, there are up to 24 variations of accessory bones in the foot alone!

How do I know if I have an accessory bone?

Most people do not know that they have an accessory bone until it shows up on an MRI or X-ray, or foot pain is presence after a fracture, dislocation or more pressing conditions like osteoarthritis or tumors.   Unless the accessory bone itself is damaged, it will most likely be just be noted in your chart as an incidental finding.

How do you treat an accessory bone?

Unless the bone is injured or causing pain, there is no need to treat or remove it.  If there is pain, your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication, rest, ice, steroid injections or physical therapy.  In some cases, surgical removal of the bone may be needed.

The next time you have an x-ray of your foot and discover an accessory bone there is no need to worry. Instead, embrace that little extra piece that makes you, you!

If you ever experience foot pain, contact your doctor if pain persists. Foot pain is not normal, and you don’t have to suffer through it. Call our office Monday through Friday at (707) 578-1222.