Cuboid Syndrome

The cuboid is a small cube shaped bone on the lateral side of the foot around about the middle of the foot. The bone is a little larger than a common gaming dice. The bone takes part in three joints and functions as a lever for the tendon of the peroneus longus muscle to pass around. Because this is a strong muscle it could move the cuboid bone too much if it is not secure and strain those joints that this bone is a part of causing a condition known as cuboid syndrome. This is probably one of the more common reasons for pain on the lateral side of the foot, generally in athletes. The discomfort normally begins quite minor and is located about where the cuboid bone is on the outside of the foot. The pain is only initially present during activity. If the exercise levels are not decreased the problem will most likely progress and then show up after activity in addition to during. At times the pain can radiate down into the foot. While this is the most frequent reason for pain here, there are others like tendon problems and nerve entrapments.

The primary treatment for cuboid syndrome is pain relief. This is commonly achieved with a decrease in activity levels and the using of strapping to immobilise and support the cuboid. Mobilisation and also manipulation is generally used to help cuboid syndrome. Over the longer term foot insoles may be required to limit the movement and keep the lateral arch of the foot. This helps make the cuboid more secure so it is an efficient fulcrum or pulley for the tendon to function around. Commonly this strategy works in almost all cases. If it doesn’t there are no surgical or more advanced approaches and a further lowering of activity amounts is generally the only option.

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