Cuboid Syndrome

Cuboid syndrome is a fairly common cause of pain on the side of your foot, or lateral foot pain. The condition is fairly easy to treat. However, it can be misdiagnosed fairly easily as well and so the symptoms can last a long time. Cuboid syndrome can affect just about anyone, however, it is quite common in athletes like runners and ballet dancers because of the strains they put on their feet.

Below, we are going to take a look at the causes, symptoms and treatments of cuboid syndrome. First though, let’s find out what cuboid syndrome actually is.

What is cuboid syndrome?

The cuboid is a small bone in your foot; it is located on the outside edge of the midfoot. Cuboid syndrome develops when this bone partially dislocates. To partially dislocate, the cuboid needs to experience some sort of trauma. This trauma can happen suddenly or can happen over a period of time, let’s explore the more common causes to see how this can happen.

What are the causes?


An inversion of the ankle is one of the most common causes of cuboid syndrome. This is sometimes called a rolled ankle and it is where the ankle and foot are forced inwards. This can happen when running, walking or jumping. Slipping off of the pavement and landing on the outer edge of your foot is a prime example of an ankle and foot injury that can cause cuboid syndrome.

Repetitive Strain Injury

Jumping, tension and running a lot can, over time, cause excessive traction on the bones in your foot. A repetitive injury may affect the muscles in your foot first and these can affect the cuboid.

Altered Foot Biomechanics

Research shows that people with flat feet suffer more with conditions like cuboid syndrome.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain. This pain can only run along the outer edge of your foot, or it can run along this area and across your foot, ankle and toes. You might find that the pain is worse in the morning, when you are changing direction quickly, on even ground or jumping. The pain is likely to ease when resting.

You might also notice that the area where the cuboid is located is tender to the touch. It might also be red and slightly swollen.

What are the treatments?

The most successful treatment for cuboid syndrome is manipulation. This is where the bone is put back in the correct position. This is a very quick, high-velocity thrust to the bone that a foot specialist can perform. We aren’t going to say that this isn’t painful, but your symptoms are likely to go away almost straight away, so it is worth it.

Other treatments for the condition include:

  • Taping
  • Icing
  • Exercises
  • Rest
  • Orthotics
  • Cuboid wedges

Your doctor may recommend some of these treatments as well as manipulation if they think you will benefit from them.

If you think that you have cuboid syndrome, come in and see us, we will be able to examine your foot and then offer you treatment for the condition that we find.

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