Cuboid Syndrome

The cuboid is a smaller cube shaped bone on the lateral side of the foot around about the center of the foot. The bone is a bit bigger than a common gaming dice. The bone takes part in three joints and functions as a pulley for the tendon of the peroneus longus muscle to pass under. Because this is a powerful muscle it can move the cuboid bone too much if it is not steady and overload those joints that this bone is a part of producing a disorder known as cuboid syndrome. This is probably one of the more frequent causes of pain on the lateral side of the foot, particularly in athletes. The pain typically starts out quite mild and is located around where the cuboid bone is on the outside of the foot. The discomfort is only to begin with present during exercise. If the exercise levels are not lowered the problem will generally advance and then show up after exercise in addition to during. Occasionally the pain may radiate down into the foot. Although this is the commonest reason for pain here, there are others such as tendinopathy and nerve entrapments.

The main management of cuboid syndrome is pain relief. This is generally achieved with a decrease in exercise levels and the using of strapping to immobilise and support the cuboid. Mobilisation and manipulation is often used to fix the symptoms. Over the long run foot supports may be needed to control the movement and aid the lateral arch of the foot. This helps make the cuboid more stable so it is an efficient fulcrum or pulley for the tendon to work around. Generally this approach works in nearly all cases. If it doesn’t there are no surgical or more advanced methods and a further reduction in exercise levels is often the only alternative.