Kohler disease is a relatively uncommon condition where the blood supply to the navicular bone in the foot is greatly impaired or lost. This is known as avascular necrosis, and causes tissue death through the insufficient blood (and oxygen) supply.
Kohler disease most often affects children from the age of 5 years onward, though can present in children as early as 2 years old and again in adulthood. It has a greater prevalence in boys than girls.
While the exact reason for the loss of blood supply to the navicular is unknown, it is thought to be linked to:
Symptoms can last from days to up to two years, and may include:
While symptoms can resolve on their own, Kohler’s can produce significant pain in the meantime and make it difficult to walk. Your podiatrist will work with your GP to effectively manage this condition and may obtain radiographs to examine the state of the navicular bone. To help resolve painful symptoms, this may include the use of:
The outcome of Kohler disease is usually excellent, often with no long-term complications or damage.