what is Cuboid Syndrome?
Cuboid syndrome is a condition that is characterized by pain along the outside border oh hindfoot (back of the foot). The pain may be acute, constant and dull in nature, and is more pronounced when pushing off the foot while walking, running, or jumping. The pain can also be produced manually by pressing on the cuboid bone from the top or bottom of the foot. Though it can affect anyone, it most often occurs in athletes. It can be a difficult diagnosis to make, as there are many bones, tendons, and ligaments that make up the foot. Once diagnosed, though, cuboid syndrome does respond very well to treatment.
Where is the Cuboid Bone?
The cuboid is a bone located on the lateral (outside) aspect of your foot. It sits between the heel bone (calcaneus) and fourth and fifth metatarsals (long bones that articulate with the toes). The cuboid bone, together with the calcaneus, forms the calcaneocuboid joint which acts to lock the foot position for stability while pushing off.
What Causes Cuboid Syndrome?
Cuboid syndrome occurs when the cuboid bone moves out of place in relation to the calcaneus, causing pain when walking or pushing off the ball of the foot. With cuboid syndrome, the cuboid bone has been dislocated or subluxated from the calcaneus (heel bone). When this happens, the joint can no longer function to properly stabilize the foot, causing pain during walking and / or running.
Cuboid syndrome can be caused either by an direct injury or by repetitive use. Over-pronation (flat foot) is sometimes suspected to cause cuboid syndrome. It is common in athletes and ballet dancers, both male and female alike. In male dancers, it is primarily caused by landing after jumps. In female dancers the primary cause is repeatedly going back and forth between flat foot and toe point positions. Cuboid syndrome can also develop after an ankle injury due to the uneven distribution of weight while favoring the injured side of the foot.
Cuboid Syndrome treatment:
- Manual manipulation of the cuboid bone to move it back into place. (must be done by a professional)
- Custom orthotics (inserts) with Cuboid pad to hold the cuboid in place and to prevent over pronation
- Ice the area
- Taping and strapping
- Supportive shoes
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen