Cuboid Syndrome

What is Cuboid Syndrome?

The cuboid is a large bone that sits laterally in the foot. Cuboid syndrome describes a partial dislocation or subluxation affecting the calcaneo-cuboid joint and ligaments in the vicinity of the cuboid region. Patients describe pain, weakness or discomfort along the lateral border of the foot. It is relatively common in ballet dancers where lots of jumping occurs and dancers may feel there is a weakness when 'pushing off' the foot.

What Causes It?

It can occur with a single traumatic event such as an 'ankle sprain' or may develop over a period of time from repetitive strain. The aetiology (or cause) of cuboid syndrome is unclear but may be related to patients foot type (under pronation/ over pronation), midtarsal instability, poorly fitting footwear, physical exercise, inadequate recovery from physical activity, ankle sprains and sporting activities that requires excessive jumping or laterally loading sports (such as basketball).

Treatment?

Most patients recover from cuboid syndrome with physical therapy, which includes manipulation/ mobilisation of the cuboid, low level laser therapy and soft tissue release to surrounding musculature. Padding and strapping may be utilised. Occasionally orthotics are needed if foot function is playing a role in why the dislocation developed.