What is cuboid syndrome?

Updated on 26 April 2023

What is cuboid syndrome?

Mobility is essential to your quality of life, whether to stay in shape, do your daily tasks, or fulfill your obligations. Like fractures, the dislocation of a bone in the foot can affect all aspects of your life. Fortunately, cuboid syndrome is an easily preventable and curable condition. Interested in learning what cuboid syndrome feels like and how to treat cuboid syndrome? Find out more about this problem. The treatments that chiropodists can offer and how you help your cuboid syndrome heal itself. 

What is cuboid syndrome?

Cuboid syndrome, also known as a subluxed cuboid, means that a bone in your foot is partially dislocated but still in contact with the surrounding bones. Subluxation of the cuboid bone is, therefore, a displacement of this bone from its normal anatomical position. 

Where is the cuboid bone located? This small cuboid bone is found in the set of bones that make up the back of the foot: the tarsus. The tarsus comprises seven bones, including the three cuneiform bones, the navicular bone, the cuboid bone, and the heel and ankle bones. This part of the foot is the one that supports the weight of your body and enables you to walk.

The causes and risk factors of cuboid syndrome

Cuboid syndrome can be caused by trauma, poor foot posture, or a deformity. It can occur as a result of an ankle sprain or strain. A subluxed cuboid can also be due to improper foot movement. What are the risk factors for ulnar subluxation? Sedentary and overweight or obese people can more easily injure themselves because of the pressure exerted on their feet. Respecting the rest time between two training sessions increases the risk of injury for athletes who practice high-impact sports. Not warming up, poor flexibility, and shoes not properly supporting the foot can also lead to cuboid syndrome. In addition, people who have an arch deformity, such as flat feet, are more likely to injure themselves. Finally, certain conditions, such as arthritis of the foot, or osteoporosis, weaken the bones of the foot and make them more vulnerable to cuboid syndrome. 

Symptoms and sensations of cuboid subluxation

What does cuboid syndrome feel like? To detect a subluxed cuboid, you must first pay attention to the location of the pain. The pain usually occurs on the foot’s outer side, radiating from the little toe to the heel. Patients who suffer from it can experience pain as intense as a fracture. The pain should intensify as you put pressure on your heel or toes. However, it is easy to confuse the symptoms of cuboid syndrome with pain caused by other foot pathologies, such as stress fractures. Cuboid syndrome can cause swelling at the injury site, redness, increased tenderness and difficulty moving freely. It is best to consult a chiropodist to assess your condition.

What cuboid syndrome tests does a chiropodist use?

To accurately determine that you have cuboid syndrome, it is important to rule out the possibility of another condition. In some cases, the subluxed cuboid can become wedged without the patient having suffered an impact or trauma to the foot. 

There are a variety of different cuboid syndrome tests. The tests begin with a biomechanical exam of your foot; your chiropodist will assess your posture and the reaction of your foot while walking. Your chiropodist may carry out digital imaging tests if necessary. X-ray exams or magnetic resonance imaging may also be required if the bone misalignment is not readily apparent. The chiropodist will then work with your doctor to diagnose the injury. Your chiropodist must be aware of your health condition and history. 

Treatments for cuboid bone syndrome offered by chiropodists

To accurately determine that you have cuboid syndrome, it is important to rule out the possibility of another condition. In some cases, the subluxed cuboid can become wedged without the patient having suffered an impact or trauma to the foot. 

There are a variety of different cuboid syndrome tests. The tests begin with a biomechanical exam of your foot; your chiropodist will assess your posture and the reaction of your foot while walking. Your chiropodist may carry out digital imaging tests if necessary. X-ray exams or magnetic resonance imaging may also be required if the bone misalignment is not readily apparent. The chiropodist will then work with your doctor to diagnose the injury. Your chiropodist must be aware of your health condition and history. 

Can cuboid syndrome heal itself? If your cuboid syndrome is mild, the pain can disappear with rest and ice application within a few days of the injury. Wearing a bandage to compress the injured area and elevate your foot also helps to reduce swelling. 

In other, more severe cases, recovery from cuboid syndrome requires manual therapy by a chiropodist or physical therapist. Several techniques for repositioning the bone include guided foot movements while applying pressure to the cuboid. The effects of the treatment are further enhanced by applying a therapeutic support bandage, which will relieve the pain and limit undue stress on your foot. A foot care professional may recommend using custom-made foot orthotics to promote healing. 

Of course, rest is essential, and depending on the severity of the injury, cuboid syndrome can take weeks to months to heal or even become chronic. You may benefit from prescription painkillers to diminish pain while waiting to resume normal activities.

How to prevent cuboid syndrome

Cuboid syndrome can be avoided by taking a few precautions. For athletes, a few minutes of warm-up before practice, followed by stretching at the end of the session, will help soften the muscles and protect the joints. Choose the right sports shoes by inquiring at a specialized store. Insoles that support and stabilize the arch of your foot and stabilize it can prevent this type of injury. You may also use custom-made foot orthotics for better comfort and protection. And even if you are an avid sports fan, giving your body time to recover is crucial for injury prevention. Finally, for sedentary people, the ideal is to maintain an optimal weight by eating a healthy diet and incorporating movement every day.

Preventing foot injuries with a podiatric exam

FootNetwork’s member clinics are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to perform a health assessment of your feet. If you are experiencing pain and your mobility is impaired, make an appointment with our chiropodists to regain your comfort. Contact us for more information.

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