Patients who have cuboid syndrome often complain of lateral foot pain, or weakness in their feet. Pain from cuboid syndrome can also radiate to the front of the ankle. This pain is often more noticeable during time of exertion (toe-off portion of the gait cycle), or on impact.
The type of pain found in cuboid syndrome may not be a very good indication of this condition.Pain can be intermittent, or persistent, it can also develop suddenly or slowly over a period of time.
Diagnosis and Imaging
Upon physical examination, the patient may have pain directly over the cuboid bone (especially when pressure is applied dorsally on the plantar surface). In some cases there may be bruising, redness and swelling. Range of motion in the ankle is often limited in cuboid syndrome (dorsi and plantar flexion).
X-rays, CT scans or MRIs are of little value in the diagnosis of cuboid syndrome. The only reason an X-ray is of value in the diagnosis of this syndrome is to rule out fractures or some type of pathological condition.
Several forms of manual therapy can be used in treating this condition. The sooner that treatment is implemented the faster the results will be.
- Manipulation: One of the most successful treatments we have found is manual manipulation. A therapist training in extremity manipulation (chiropractor, physiotherapist, podiatrist) can often reduce the pain of cuboid syndrome in a short period of time.
- Soft tissue techniques: Techniques such as Active Release, Graston, Massage Therapy, and Fascial Manipulation can also be of great help. The key is to work with all of the structures involved in the kinetic chain, not only at the site of pain.
- For example we know that the peroneus longus muscle is involved in plantar flexion of ankle, and that this greatly affects cuboid stability. A problem with the peroneus longus could create an alteration in the normal plantar flexion movement. Even though the peroneus longus is most likely involved in this injury, we cannot take it for granted that this is the only plantar flexor affected. Treatment of all plantar flexors and their antagonist muscles, the dorsi flexors, is often needed for a full resolution.
- Exercise: Exercises should focus on stretching the peroneus longus and the calf muscles.These stretches are combined with strengthening the extrinsic muscles of the foot. In addition, it is essential to perform balance exercises so that the injury does not reoccur.Please go to www.releaseyourbody.com for a specific exercise needed to rehabilitate this injury.
- Orthotics: Custom fit orthotics will help to correct abnormal pronation and supination that may be leading to cuboid syndrome.
If you would like more information or to purchase our books please go to www.releaseyourbody.com .
If you would like information about our clinic in Calgary Alberta please go to www.kinetichealth.ca.
(COPYRIGHT KINETIC HEALTH 2012 – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)
Blakeslee TJ, Morris JL. Cuboid syndrome and the significance of midtarsal joint stability. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 1987;77:638-642.
Marshall P, Hamilton WG. Cuboid subluxation in ballet dancers. Am J Sports Med.1992;20:169-175.
Mooney M, Maffey-Ward L. Cuboid plantar and dorsal subluxations: assessment and treatment. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1994;20:220-226.
Newell SG, Woodle A. Cuboid syndrome. Phys Sports Med. 1981;9:71-76.