What is Cuboid Syndrome?

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Cuboid Syndrome


This describes pain on the lateral side of the foot that is often described as sharp stabbing pain that is most painful while weight-bearing walking or running.

The cuboid bone is a bone on the lateral side of the mid-foot and it is the twisting or rotation of this bone and consequential mal-alignment that causes the pain.

The cuboid bone is a bone on the lateral side of the mid-foot and it is the twisting or rotation of this bone. #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet

The twisting of the cuboid bone is often caused by the tightness of the peroneal longus muscle which courses down the outside of the lower leg, behind the ankle, underneath the cuboid bone via its tendon and then attaching to the medial longitudinal arch. Think of the cuboid bone acting as a pulley as the peroneal longus tendon wraps underneath to help support the arch. The tightness is typically caused by overuse of the muscle trying to either control excessive rolling in (pronation) most commonly or excessive rolling out (supination) of the foot.


This involves your practitioner having a good understanding of the anatomy of the foot. There are a number of other structures such as ligaments and tendons that can be damaged in the same area especially if there has been a recent or history of ankle sprains or twisting injuries of the foot. An Xray, ultrasound and/or MRI may be required to have a clearer understanding of the affected structures especially if there has been injury history or to rule out other differential diagnoses.


Treatment involves addressing tightness and possible causes of tightness such as weak muscle strength and/or mechanical issues (e.g. excessive pronation or supination) causing overuse.

Modalities such as soft tissue release, dry needling, foot mobilising, manipulations, taping, padding, orthoses, footwear and running shoe recommendations are often used. Active rest from aggravating activities and Icing can be also useful as well as low dose, over the counter anti-inflammatory gel or tablets to help with pain relief.

As always for the correct diagnosis and treatment plan please consult your local Podiatrist or Physiotherapist.

Aleks Baruksopulo
SportsMed Podiatrist
BSc (Biomed), BHlthSc (Pod)


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