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The Navicular and Styloid Process | Usually no Cause for Concern | Find Your Stride | Edinburgh Podiatrist

Introduction

The human foot is a complex structure comprised of numerous bones, muscles, and tendons that work together to provide support, stability, and mobility. Within the foot, there are several bony prominences that are easily visible and can cause concern for some individuals. In this blog post, I will be exploring two such prominences - the navicular bone and the fifth metatarsal styloid process.


The Navicular

The navicular bone is a small, boat-shaped bone located on the medial side of the foot, just in front of the ankle joint. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the arch of the foot and is a point of attachment for the tendon of tibialis posterior, a key muscle acting on the foot. The prominence of the navicular bone is often easily visible and can cause concern for some individuals, leading them to worry about potential injuries or abnormal conditions.


An x-ray of a foot from above
The navicular and styloid process seen on an x-ray

The Styloid Process

The fifth metatarsal styloid process is another prominent bony structure located on the lateral side of the foot, just in front of the heel. This bony prominence is the point of attachment for the peroneus brevis muscle, which plays a key role in stabilising the foot and ankle during movement. Similar to the navicular bone, the prominence of the fifth metatarsal styloid process can cause concern for some individuals who may worry about potential injuries or abnormalities.


An Explanation

Both the navicular bone and the fifth metatarsal styloid process are important anatomical structures that play a critical role in the overall function and stability of the foot. It is natural for these bony prominences to be visible, as they provide essential points of attachment for muscles that are necessary for proper foot and ankle function.


In some cases, individuals may experience discomfort or pain associated with these bony prominences, and would be right to seek medical attention. However, in the absence of any significant symptoms or functional limitations, the prominence of the navicular bone and fifth metatarsal styloid process is generally considered to be a normal anatomical variation.


In conclusion, the prominent visibility of the navicular bone and fifth metatarsal styloid process in the foot is a normal anatomical variation that is often visible in many individuals. These bony structures play a crucial role in foot and ankle function, and their prominence is generally not indicative of any underlying pathology. However, individuals who experience concerning symptoms related to these bony prominences should seek an assessment with a podiatrist to ensure appropriate management and to address any potential concerns.


Find Your Stride!

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