Cuboid Syndrome Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Cuboid Syndrome Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Pain on the Outer Side of Your Foot? It might be a Cuboid Bone InjuryCuboid syndrome symptoms & treatment

Feeling pain on the outside edge of your foot (lateral foot pain) is usually the first thing people with cuboid syndrome notice. It’s a relatively common condition, but not always recognized since it can come on slowly over time.

The cuboid bone is a cube-shaped bone located on the outer side of the midfoot. It provides stability and, along with other bones in the midfoot, helps distribute body weight so you can walk comfortably.

Cuboid subluxation means the cuboid bone is not in normal alignment within the foot. This can result from a single injury (such as an ankle sprain) or can develop slowly from repetitive straining of the lower leg and foot.

Many patients suffer a subluxation of the cuboid bone when an ankle is sprained, but don’t realize it. If you have persistent lateral foot pain or difficulty walking even after a sprain has healed, you may be suffering from cuboid syndrome.


Causes of Cuboid Foot Injuries

This condition is frequently seen in athletes whose feet are under strain from running, jumping, and repeated lateral movements. Running, tennis, baskeball, and ballet are all examples of activities placing significant strain and pressure on the feet.

However there are several other risk factors for cuboid syndrome, including:
  • Obesity
  • Poorly fitting shoes
  • Inadequate recovery following injury
  • Running on uneven surfaces
  • Foot type (tendency for overpronation or underpronation)
A sprained ankle or other foot injury can tear the connective tissues around the cuboid bone and cause a subluxation. Repetitive movements involving the foot and lower leg muscles can strain and tear connective tissue over time, causing a gradual subluxation of the cuboid bone.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Cuboid Foot

A patient with a cuboid subluxation usually complains of pain and/or weakness along the outer side of the mid foot. Pain often subsides after complete rest. In some cases the pain is intermittent, and may disappear completely for a time only to return again.
Cuboid foot pain MilwaukeeOther common symptoms of cuboid syndrome include:
  • Aching or radiating pain on the side of the foot or throughout the foot
  • Pain increases with pressure or walking
  • Pain is worse first thing in the morning
  • Outer edge of the foot is tender and/or swollen
  • Patient limps or walks on toes to avoid putting weight on the foot

To diagnose cuboid syndrome, a doctor may ask you to stand on your toes or roll the arches of your feet, as these motions will use the joints and
ligaments typically strained when suffering from cuboid foot. Advanced imaging techniques may be required to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other causes.

Cuboid Syndrome Treatment

A podiatrist may treat your cuboid subluxation by realigning the cuboid bone. This is done by manipulating the cuboid so it pops back into its proper place, and should only be done by a foot and ankle specialist. Never attempt this on your own.

However in some patients cuboid bone manipulation may not be possible due to other conditions such as:
An experienced podiatrist will design an effective cuboid foot treatment plan to relieve pain and allow your foot to heal.


Rest and keeping weight and stress off of the foot (as much as possible) give the soft tissues around the cuboid bone time to heal. Compression bandages and taping also help reduce ankle and foot movement, providing greater stability until the connective tissue recovers. In general, cuboid subluxation is treatable and you should be able to return to your running or your other favorite activities once the pain is gone.

Preventing Cuboid Foot Symptoms

Your doctor may also recommend custom orthotics if your feet are overpronating, to prevent it from happening again. Your podiatrist may also recommend taping or padding to support the cuboid bone and midfoot. Stretching the ankle as directed by your foot doctor can ease current symptoms and prevent recurrence of the injury.

Find Relief for Lateral Foot Pain and Cuboid Syndrome with Caring Podiatrists in Milwaukee

If you have pain or swelling on the outer part of your foot, don’t ignore it any longer. The expert podiatrists at Advanced Foot & Ankle of Wisconsin can discover the source of your chronic or recurring foot pain and give you the treatment you need to feel relief.
Do you feel pain on the side of your foot? Consult a foot pain specialist at Advanced Foot & Ankle of Wisconsin!

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