Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 123, Issue 9, pp 505–508 | Cite as

Transient osteoporosis of the navicular bone in a runner

  • O. Miltner
  • C. Niedhart
  • W. Piroth
  • M. Weber
  • C. H. Siebert
Case Report



Transient osteoporosis or the bone marrow oedema syndrome is described as a self-limiting disorder. Transient osteoporosis usually affects only one bone, predominantly the proximal femur. Involvement of the foot is rare and often overlooked. A disorder of the navicular bone of the foot can be found twice in the literature.

Materials and methods

We report a case of transient osteoporosis of the navicular bone of the foot in a 20-year-old, female, top-level track athlete (400 m sprinter) treated with alendronate, and a review of the literature.


The therapeutic options are limited, frequently consisting of non-specific, symptomatic therapy. Some authors report favourable results with core decompression, while others have reported good results with a conservative regime of symptomatic treatment and avoidance of weight-bearing until the clinical and radiological changes have resolved. In the described case, the patient had a favourable result after a short course of treatment with alendronate. She experienced almost immediate pain reduction and presented a complete resolution of the abnormal signal intensity on MRI.


This rapid result makes the use of alendronate seem promising in athletes with transient osteoporosis, permitting an early return to high-level activities.


Transient osteoporosis Navicular bone Biphosphonate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Miltner
    • 1
  • C. Niedhart
    • 1
  • W. Piroth
    • 2
  • M. Weber
    • 1
  • C. H. Siebert
    • 1
  1. 1.Orthopaedic Department of the UK AachenAachenGermany
  2. 2.Radiology Department of the UK AachenAachenGermany

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