What you might be feeling
If you have cuboid syndrome it is likely that you will have pain on the outside of your foot, which will be made worse by weight bearing. Walking will be uncomfortable, particularly at the point where you are pushing of the ground with your toe. Another thing you may notice when you are walking is that you turn your feet in to try and avoid the pain on the outside of your foot. In severe causes this may even result in a limp and you may be using crutches to help you walk. The other important thing to note is you will also be experiencing the symptoms of the primary injury and this may also affect your gait pattern.
What’s really going on inside
Cuboid syndrome is a subluxation of one of the small bones in the foot called the cuboid. A subluxation occurs when a bone partially dislocates from its correct position in a joint. In the case of cuboid syndrome the bone drops down towards the sole of the foot and gets stuck there. This could be caused by a prolonged pull on the bone with peroneal tendinopathy or with a high velocity pull on the bone following an acute ankle sprain.
Diagnosis of Cuboid Syndrome can be difficult as it is it doesn’t usually present in isolation. It usually occurs following an acute ankle injury or with a peroneal tendinopathy. Acute management will consist of treating the primary injury, and later identification of the injury to the cuboid bone.
How a physio can help
When you are diagnosed with cuboid syndrome, the most effective form of treatment has been found to be a manipulation of the bone to reposition it back into the joint. Once this has been successfully completed, taping and bracing techniques can be used to help maintain the position of the bone. It is then advised not to participate in any high impact activity for at least 1 week following manipulation. To return to sport/activity you must be symptom free in order to prevent recurrence of your injury.
After being treated for cuboid syndrome you should be able to get back to sport/activity, symptom free, fairly quickly. However, this may be affected by the primary injury. Your physiotherapist will design a targeted exercise program to cater for both injuries. They will also advise you on some self management strategies to help you when you return to your favourite sport/activity.