Broken Navicular bone

I am working on strength and conditioning with a basketball player 210cm tall, who has problem with navicular bone.

He broke navicular bone in January. It was broken in the middle, on left and right part. At first doctors wanted to send him to surgery but instead of that, they insert him gyps from feet to his knee, and wore it for 2.5 months.
After that he had some rehabilitation, easy workouts etc, and in May started to train normally after his doctors stated that everything is fine.

But the same problem arised again in June. During the workout, the same bone was broken on the same place.
On the magnetic resonance they found 3mm cleft between two parts of the bone.
Now he hasn’t wore any gyps, and 2 months passed from then. This time he didn’t have almost any pain and he walks normally using that leg!!
He use acupuncture recovery and it helps him, and that doctor said that for about a week, he will be able to start some workouts with injured feet and to start to impose injured feet to loads.
He will go to magnetic resonance next week and my question is next:

If everything is fine on the resonance, if the bone looks normal as it is regularly,if there is no pain, how can i know that everything really is fine in that bone and that it will not be broken once again.??

After first injury, after he wore gyps, everything was good, he had no pain, the bone seemed to be normal and totally recovered, but it wasn’t, American doctors couldn’t do anything, only surgery…

Are there any other methods, tests or something which can give me more information about actual status of that bone??
What period of time is needed for complete recovery of bone structures?

Any comments, suggestion…?

During my time in the military, 98-03, I sustained, what was believed by the orthos to be, a stress fracture to the medial aspect of the navicular bone in my left foot- TWICE on two different occasions- about 1.5-2 years apart.

On both occasions the injury happened as a result of me tripping while I was running and inverting my ankle.

The orthos suggested that I have some extra bone on the medial tip of the navicular and as a result of the inversion there was a compression of sorts that occurred between the ankle and navicular.

On both occasions I was placed in a cast that fully immobilized the foot and ankle for, if memory serves, 4-6 weeks and then performed the majority of the rehab myself.

So for me, and looking back, the proprioceptive strengthening of the ankle via both specific means as well as general strength lifts such as squatting rendered me less prone to rolling it and proved to be the successful course.

If I had to wager, I would say that the heavy load imposed by squats was more beneficial then the conventional wobble board, and otherwise, balance protocols used by physios because after the second injury I used only general strength training means along with the gradual increase in running.

Thank you James,

That’s what i thought too, a lot of proprioceptive strengthening and squats for start and i hope that after few weeks we could start to do a little bit harder.

Just tell me, after second injury and rehabilitation with general strength workouts, did you have any other problem with that bone?

No problems after the second injury.

Two factors deserve consideration in this regard:

  1. I ceased running two years after the second injury so the likelihood of re- injury was obviously greatly reduced once I stopped running
  2. My strength preparation is as high as its ever been

I still roll the ankle once in a while if I trip over something while I’m walking but it is clear that the proprioceptive capacity is up to par because I always catch myself before anything severe happens.

James, have you ever had your feet looked at. A lot times rolling the ankles and knee problems could be result of your feet. Dr. Lee Cohen talked to me about recently and told me I should look at the mechanics of the posture and legs and hips and then the feet. Some thing to think about?

yes, many years ago and the appropriate steps were taken.

Yes i understand,
but unfortunately, this player can’t have a break 1 or 2 years long, he must be ready in few months…

Thank you James!