Cuboid Syndrome is a condition commonly associated with lateral foot pain (pain on the outer side of the foot). Even though it is simple to identify and treat, a number of medical practitioners usually misdiagnose it due to the slow onset of the disease. This condition is seen frequently amongst athletes and ballet dancers.

Usually, cuboid syndrome occurs when both the joint and ligaments around the Cuboid bone get injured. This is often caused by either an immediate ankle sprain or through slow tension on the  tarsal cartilage and the adjacent structures. It’s also referred to as cuboid subluxation. Knowing how to recognize and effectively treat this condition at home can go a long way in helping one avoid further foot injuries.

Causes of cuboid syndrome.

Cuboid syndrome is normally caused when the heel bone moves inwards while the cuboid bone moves outwards from the foot. This in turn dislocates either one or both bones or fracture nearby ligaments. Frequent causes of such include mild sprains or injuries to the ankle.

Some of the foot injuries commonly connected with this condition include: twisted ankles, missteps, or moving from one side to the other in one’s gait.


Symptoms of Cuboid Syndrome.

This condition usually presents with sharp pains on the flanking border of the foot where the smallest toe is located. The intensity of the pain may increase abruptly when one shifts weight to that particular side of the foot or when one pushes on the arch at the bottom of the feet. More so, the pain may spread to other parts of the foot when one leans to the front of the toes.

Other potential symptoms may include:

~ Red patch around the area of injury.

~ Inability to twist/move the ankle or the whole lateral side of the foot

~ Toes located on side of the foot getting weak.

~ Swelling around the fractured ligaments or ankle caused by edema (fluid buildup).

Cuboid Syndrome treatment.

To effectively deal with this condition, the bone has to be physically returned back to its original position by a medical professional with the proper knowledge and tools. The doctor will perform taping and padding accompanied by the use of the arch support insoles in order to maintain the position of the dislocated joint.

Alternatively, the RICE method is another commonly diagnosed way to deal with this condition:

~ Rest your foot

~ Ice the injured area with cold bags for approximately 20 minutes.

~ Compress the injured foot with an elastic medical bandage.

~ Elevate your foot to a point above the heart to curb swelling.

Furthermore, with a doctor’s order, one can perform the cuboid squeeze as a treatment measure.

~ Put the thumb under the injured victims leg around the cuboidb one( located at the middle of the arch)

~ Grip the toes and gently push them towards the bottom of the foot.

~ Push on the cuboid bone while pushing the toes away for about 3 minutes repeatedly.

Some doctors may recommend shoe inserts that can help in supporting the injured foot and facilitate faster recovery.

Recovering from Cuboid Syndrome.

Full recovery as a result of a major injury usually takes 4-8 weeks, however if it was caused by a minor injury, it usually only takes a few days. To assure full and quick recovery:

  1. i) Consult with a doctor and a physical therapist to facilitate faster healing.
  1. ii) After any strenuous activity, give the foot enough rest.

iii) Invest in a good splint if diagnosed with a serious sprain.

In some cases, some underlying medical complications such as terminal arthritis can affect this condition. Always visit the doctor should you experience persistent pains on the edge of your foot, in order to diagnose your condition accurately. Cuboid syndrome is usually not a serious threat and it can be easily taken care of at home or by an experienced professional.


*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.