What is cuboid syndrome?
Do you suffer with lateral foot pain (outer side of your foot) that is either a sharp pain or achy pain that sometimes moves around? It may even feel locked up in that part of your foot.
Then it’s possible you may have cuboid syndrome. Cuboid syndrome is a condition affecting the outer side of your foot where the cuboid bone is subluxed or dislocated, meaning it has moved out of place or alignment relative to the rest of the foot.
The cuboid bone is located on the lateral (outside) of your foot connecting on one side with the fourth and fifth metatarsals and the calcaneus (heel) bone at the other. It is held in place by ligaments and a joint capsule. When these tissues are injured or damaged the cuboid can move out of place resulting in pain along the lateral/outside of the foot.
What causes cuboid syndrome?
The two main cause of cuboid syndrome are usually due to either injury or overuse. Pronation (rolling in), or flat feet, has shown to be a contributing factor in a large amount of people that are affected by cuboid syndrome. Other risk factors including poor footwear, a history of previous injury, running on uneven surfaces and obesity. As people are working more from home in the last few months there has been an increase in this problem likely due to poor footwear or lack of footwear whilst working at home.
Injuries that can cause the cuboid to ‘sublux’ include inversion ankle sprains where the lateral (outside) ankle ligaments can be overstretched and can no longer hold the cuboid in place effectively. It can also be caused after any kind of fall or misstep when walking.
Overuse injury to the cuboid typically occurs through the abnormal strain of the peroneus longus muscle, which runs down the outside of the leg and down around the outside of the ankle. Repetitive strain on the peroneus longus through activities such as running, jumping and ballet can pull on the cuboid and cause it to dislocate over time.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain on the outside and/or the underside of the foot when weight-bearing. There may also be swelling and/or redness and the pain sometimes radiates own the outside of the foot. Pain can vary depending on the cause and severity of the injury. In severe cases the patient may be unable to bear any weight on the foot, resulting in a painful limp. This syndrome is often misdiagnosed or missed and may also follow on from another injury such as an ankle sprain.
How is cuboid syndrome treated?
It is important to seek diagnosis and treatment from your podiatrist as early as possible. Once diagnosed your podiatrist will use a variety of techniques that will often involve mobilisation, manipulation and strapping to get the cuboid bone back into place.
Treatment is focused on getting the cuboid back in place then facilitating the repair of the tissues surrounding the cuboid and reducing the risk of re-injuring the foot. This may include exercises, footwear and possibly orthotic therapy if there is a biomechanical cause identified. In some cases a CAM Walker may be required to reduce acute symptoms.
So if you are suffering with lateral foot pain in this area and want results make an appointment with one of our friendly Melbourne podiatrists today!