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Köhler’s Disease

Köhler’s Disease

Photo credit: Fixmyfeet.co.za

Köhler’s disease is a condition that impacts a bone on the inner arch of the foot. This bone is called the navicular.

This relatively rare disorder of the foot typically affects males more than females and occurs between the ages of 2 and 10 years of age with a peak occurs during the ages of 3 to 7 years.

It is not fully understood why this condition occurs. Some researchers suggest that it is caused by excessive strain on the navicular bone, while others believe that it is caused by injury/trauma to the area. As a result of this, the blood supply to the bone get compromised as the child is growing. This leads to loss of blood flow (ischaemia) to navicular resulting in progressive degeneration of the bone. If not treated promptly, the bone can become permanently deformed.

The signs and symptoms of Köhler’s disease can differ, but they generally include:

  • Redness around the inside of the foot, near your arch
  • A swollen foot
  • Tenderness/pain along the inside of the arch
  • Pain worse if putting pressure on the affected foot

This is an uncommon condition that warrants proper diagnosis, care and management. Generally, it does resolve on its own. It is important not to aggravate the condition as it can lead to complications later on in life. If the condition is very severe (as determined by X-ray/CT scans) then a fibreglass cast or moon boot may be required in addition to other treatment options. See our Podiatrists here for more information regarding this condition.

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