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Foot Bone or Joint Injury

Mueller-Weiss Syndrome

Minute Read


Posted 3 months ago


by James McCormack

Mueller-Weisse Syndrome is the spontaneous osteonecrosis of the navicular bone that causes pain in the midfoot and surrounding tarsal bones. Mueller-Weisse Syndrome is a very rare condition but it has become better known since tennis player Rafael Nadal was diagnosed with it. 

Symptoms of Mueller-Weiss Syndrome

Mueller-Weiss Syndrome causes pain in the medial arch of the foot when walking, standing or running. Pain often improves with non-weight bearing position but immediately worsens when weight bearing.

Often there is swelling of the foot, and it is painful to palpate the arch of the foot, and symptoms are normally gradual in onset.

Diagram of the location of Mueller weiss Syndrome

Mueller-Weisse Syndrom Causes

The exact causes of Mueller-Weiss Syndrome are unknown. We know that it is more common in females aged 40 – 60, and it is not unusual for symptoms to be present in both feet. 

Some speculate that congenital malformation, osteochondritis, chronic stress fracture, and necrosis of traumatic or biomechanical origin are potential causes.

Mueller-Weiss Syndrom Diagnosis 

As Mueller-Weiss Syndrome is extremely rare, it can be difficult to diagnose in a clinical setting, and often patients are referred for imaging. 

An x-ray can diagnose Mueller-Weiss Syndrome, where we expect to see a change in the outline of the navicular bone so that it looks like a comma.

Mueller-Weiss Syndrome Treatment

Treatment for Mueller-Weisse Syndrom can be difficult and should be under the guidance of a Physical Therapist or Podiatrist.

Manual therapy techniques such as massage and gentle mobilisations can provide pain relief, while a strengthening and stretching programme can help to optimise the movement of the foot.

Orthotics and support footwear can relieve pain and increase a patient’s function levels.

Surgical intervention may entail the removal of the necrotic navicular bone and replacement with a bone graft.

Physiotherapy with James McCormack

This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments.

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