Jessica was on vacation when she tripped down a step and injured her foot. She later discovered that she had an extra bone in her foot called the accessory navicular bone which was injured from the fall. Keep reading to learn more about Jessica’s accessory navicular foot surgery and the care she received with IBJI’s Dr. Douglas Solway. Learn more about foot care at IBJI.

Vacation Turns to Foot Pain

Throughout the years, IBJI patient Jessica participated in a few half marathons and eventually worked towards participating in a marathon. Unfortunately, she had to defer her 2016 entry to the Chicago Marathon due to plantar fasciitis. She didn’t think too much about her plantar fasciitis diagnosis. It wasn’t until a mishap in February 2020 that she experienced more pain in her foot. 

Right before the pandemic, Jessica and her husband took a vacation to Mexico. While in the hotel room, she made her way into the living room area and missed the step going down into the room.

“Initially I thought my foot was sprained from the fall. For the next few days on vacation, I took it easy and relaxed as much as I could until we got back home.”

When Jessica came home from her vacation, she continued to rest in hopes that her foot would heal at a level that she could live and work with.

Patient Story_Accessory Navicular Foot Surgery
IBJI patient Jessica (left) and her husband (right) enjoy participating in marathons.

Foot Pain Altered Lifestyle

Unfortunately, over the next few months the pain progressed. Between her active job as an assistant store manager at Trader Joe’s and having an energetic two-year-old the pain was getting worse to where she couldn’t handle it anymore.

“I was still going into work but it was affecting my productivity. I stopped doing the things I loved. I wasn’t running, biking, or running around with my daughter. There was no way I could go to the gym, being active in general became more difficult as the year went on.”

Enough is Enough

In October 2020, Jessica made an appointment with IBJI podiatric surgeon Dr. Douglas Solway. He discovered that Jessica had an accessory navicular in her left foot which is essentially an extra bone. Due to the fall, the bone was separating from other bones and causing tendonitis.

“Dr. Solway explained that not everyone has that bone and many times it goes unnoticed if you never injure it. Me being so active and twisting it the wrong way when I fell didn’t help.

Jessica’s options were to receive a steroid shot or accessory navicular foot surgery to repair it. “At first, we decided to go with a steroid shot, which I hoped would get me through the holiday season at work. I was able to make it through the beginning of December. The pain was coming back, I knew surgery was what I needed to do. I called Dr. Solway’s nurse Sharon and got my surgery scheduled.”

Jessica had an outpatient procedure that lasted about 45 minutes. Along the way, Dr. Solway kept her informed and told her what to expect throughout the process.

“The only disappointment I had was that my husband couldn’t come with me because of COVID-19 protocols. Besides that, it was a good experience. Everyone was super friendly, the nurses got me in and settled quickly. Dr. Solway and his nurses made sure I knew what was going on and they called my husband and gave him the rundown of what would happen. From start to finish, the whole process was four hours.”

Recovery from Accessory Navicular Foot Surgery

Jessica wasn’t in recovery too long and was able to go home the same day. “I could tell I was tender after surgery but didn’t have pain until later that night and into the next day. I was prescribed pain medication that helped in the first few days. After surgery, they told me that if I feel comfortable I could bear some weight on it which was surprising. They gave me a walking boot and crutches to assist.

In the first few days after surgery, Jessica decided to play it safe and take it easy by resting. She mostly stayed off her foot and relaxed on the couch. Jessica kept her foot up and iced it occasionally as it was healing.

“I wanted to ease into walking, even though they gave permission to do so. I was a little nervous at first. I had been in pain for so long that I didn’t want to do anything to harm my foot after surgery that would result in that same pain. It was nerve wracking to get back to walking on it.” 

Follow Up Appointments Led to Success

Jessica attended her follow up appointments each week and at the third check up she was told she didn’t need the boot anymore. Dr. Solway was happy with the progress in her foot strength. He gave her foot exercises and they scheduled a follow up appointment in March to determine if she will need to do physical therapy.

In total, it took Jessica five and a half weeks to get back to feeling better. She is now back to work and feeling good.

“I was nervous going back into work and being on my feet. I wear a supportive compression sleeve on my foot and make sure to take breaks. I don’t want to push myself and would rather take my time getting back into it. It’s a great feeling to walk again and not have pain. My muscles in my foot are getting stronger as I continue to walk.

Quality Foot Care Provided from IBJI

“The whole experience and being an IBJI patient has been great. I appreciate Dr. Solway’s compassion and insight. Having the surgery has brought a huge improvement to my quality of life. I'm so excited to get back out this summer, run and be active. My long-term goal is to get back to participating in marathons.”

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Need to see a doctor for foot treatment? Make an appointment today with one of IBJI’s foot doctors—online or in-person—to learn more treatment options to get you back to feeling your best.

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