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Introducing Cuboid Syndrome | Find Your Stride | Edinburgh Podiatrist


Cuboid syndrome is a relatively common but often overlooked cause of lateral foot pain. It occurs when the cuboid bone, which is located on the outer aspect of the foot, becomes misaligned or subluxated. This can lead to a range of symptoms and can significantly impact an individual’s ability to walk and engage in physical activities. In this blog post, we will explore the symptoms, prevalence, investigations, and treatment options for cuboid syndrome.

The cuboid bone is one of seven bones that make up the tarsus
The cuboid bone is shown here in red


Individuals with cuboid syndrome typically experience pain and discomfort on the outer aspect of the foot, specifically in the area of the cuboid bone. This pain may be exacerbated by weight-bearing activities such as walking or running. In addition to pain, other common symptoms include swelling, tenderness, and a decreased range of motion in the affected foot. Some individuals may also report a feeling of instability or weakness.


While the exact prevalence of cuboid syndrome is not well-documented, it is thought to be relatively common, particularly among athletes and individuals who engage in repetitive, high-impact activities. Runners, dancers, and individuals who participate in sports that involve quick, lateral movements are at an increased risk of developing cuboid syndrome. Additionally, it has been suggested that individuals with pes planus (better known as 'flat feet' or pes cavus (high arches) may also be more susceptible to this condition.


Diagnosing cuboid syndrome can be challenging, as the symptoms can mimic those of other foot and ankle injuries. However, a thorough physical examination, as well as imaging studies such as X-rays and MRI scans, can help to confirm the diagnosis. During the physical examination, a healthcare provider may perform specific manipulative tests to assess the alignment and mobility of the cuboid bone. Imaging studies can also help to rule out other potential causes of lateral foot pain, such as stress fractures, osteoarthritis or ligament injuries.


The treatment of cuboid syndrome typically involves a combination of conservative measures to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as manual manipulation techniques to realign the cuboid bone. Common treatment options may include rest, ice, compression, as well as the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to manage pain and swelling. Physical therapy and specific exercises may be prescribed to improve the strength and stability of the foot and ankle. In some cases, healthcare providers may perform manual manipulations or foot orthoses to reposition the cuboid bone, restore normal function and reduce the chances of recurrence.


In conclusion, cuboid syndrome is a condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort for those affected. It is important for individuals experiencing lateral foot pain to seek medical attention to properly diagnose and treat cuboid syndrome. By understanding the symptoms, prevalence, investigations, and treatment options individuals can better advocate for their own health and well-being. If you suspect that you may have cuboid syndrome, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider who can provide a comprehensive assessment and develop an appropriate treatment plan. With proper care and management, individuals with cuboid syndrome can make a full recovery and return to their normal activities.

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