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Health Information Center

Navicular Fracture

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Navicular Fracture

(Tarsal Navicular Fracture)


A navicular fracture is a break in the navicular bone on the top of the midfoot.

Navicular Bone of the Foot.

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A navicular fracture may be caused by:

  • A direct blow to the foot, such as from falling and landing heavily
  • A severe twist
  • Repetitive stress to the foot

Risk Factors

A navicular fracture is more common in people who do high impact sports, such as running, tennis, basketball, or gymnastics.


Problems may be:

  • Swelling and pain of midfoot
  • Pain with activity, such as walking
  • Pain that gets better with rest


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. Questions may also be asked about any injury you have had or any activities that you do. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the foot.

Pictures may be done of the foot. This can be done with:


It can take 6 weeks to heal. The goal of treatment is to help the bones heal properly to prevent long term problems.


This problem cannot always be prevented. Starting a new sport slowly may help lower the risk of injury. Healthy bones and muscles may also help. This may be done through diet and exercise.





  • Navicular fracture—emergency management. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/navicular-fracture-emergency-management.
  • Stress fractures of the foot and ankle. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/stress-fractures-of-the-foot-and-ankle.


  • Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.