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What is the Cuboid Bone and Cuboid Syndrome?

Sweeney Foot and Ankle What is the Cuboid Bond and Cuboid Syndrome Toe Dancer

Experiencing pain on the outer side of your foot? It could be caused by cuboid syndrome. Learn more about this painful, yet extremely common condition.

What is the Cuboid Bone?

Along the outer lateral side of your foot – the side located near the pinky toe – there is a small, square-shaped bone known as the cuboid bone. This bone works as a connector and stabilizer between your foot and ankle.

Dislocation of the Cuboid Bone Causes Cuboid Syndrome

Sometimes, the cuboid bone can slip out of place. The dislocated bone can cause inflammation and irritation to occur in the ligaments and joints that surround the cuboid bone. This results in you experiencing pain. When this happens, you are experiencing cuboid syndrome.

Common Causes of Cuboid Syndrome

Athletes and dancers are extremely susceptible to developing cuboid syndrome because of the amount of repetitive movement and stress they put on their ankles.

Injury is another common cause of cuboid syndrome. Sprains, in particular inversion sprains where the ankle rolls outward, can cause the cuboid bone to slip out of place. This causes irritation and inflammation in the surrounding ligaments and joints which results in the development of cuboid syndrome.

Lastly, cuboid syndrome could be caused by the shape of your feet. People who suffer from flat feet tend to experience cuboid syndrome because of the pressure they put on their feet when they walk. Each time a person with flat feet takes a step, pressure and stress is put along the outer side of the foot. Over time, the cuboid bone can shift or move because of all the pressure that is being put on it on a daily basis.

What are the Symptoms of Cuboid Syndrome?

If you develop cuboid syndrome, you may experience some of the following:

  • Pain along the outer side of the foot
  • Pain that can be felt in the ankle or toes
  • Pain that gets worse with standing or when engaging in repetitive, strenuous activities
  • Swelling of the outside of the foot
  • Redness
  • Bruising

How is Cuboid Syndrome Diagnosed?

Even though cuboid syndrome is extremely common, it is extremely difficult to diagnose. It is difficult to diagnose because it often does not appear on an x-ray. X-rays fail to show cuboid syndrome because all it takes is a slight movement of the bone to cause pain, inflammation and irritation. The movement may be so slight that it is unnoticeable on an x-ray.

While x-rays may not show cuboid syndrome, they are still an important diagnostic test. Even if your podiatrist believes you are experiencing cuboid syndrome based off of a physical examination, he or she will often still order an x-ray in order to rule out any other problems such as a fracture.

Visit a Podiatrist to Find Relief for Cuboid Syndrome

Cuboid syndrome may be extremely painful, but it is relatively easy to treat. Working closely with a podiatrist, you can find relief from pain and inflammation caused by cuboid syndrome.

Some of the most common treatment options for cuboid syndrome include:

  • Ice therapy
  • Physical therapy that includes strengthening and flexibility exercises
  • Use of orthotics
  • Rest
  • Taping  

If you believe you are suffering from cuboid syndrome, it is important to get it properly diagnosed. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our podiatrist. Our podiatrist will help diagnose and treat your foot and ankle pain.