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Athletes and Cuboid Syndrome

Tuesday, 20 February 2024 00:00

Athletes often develop various foot issues. A male ballet dancer experiences sudden lateral foot pain after landing from a jump, fearing it may end his career. A basketball player suffers acute pain after twisting his ankle during a game, and is now using crutches. A female ballet dancer faces persistent lateral foot pain hindering her rehearsals, despite treatments over two years. These cases share a common condition often overlooked and known as cuboid subluxation. This involves injury to the joints and ligaments around the cuboid bone, causing lateral foot pain and weakness during push-off. Diagnosis involves physical examination, as imaging may not clearly show the condition. Treatment includes manipulation to realign the cuboid, followed by supportive measures like taping and orthotics. Addressing biomechanical issues is important for recovery, ensuring athletes can return to their activities safely. If you are an athlete and have foot pain, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible to prevent worsening of symptoms and obtain appropriate treatment for the diagnosis.

Cuboid syndrome, also known as cuboid subluxation, occurs when the joints and ligaments near the cuboid bone in the foot become torn. If you have cuboid syndrome, consult with Dr. Charles Marchese from Manalapan Foot & Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Cuboid syndrome is a common cause of lateral foot pain, which is pain on the outside of the foot. The condition may happen suddenly due to an ankle sprain, or it may develop slowly overtime from repetitive tension through the bone and surrounding structures.


The most common causes of cuboid syndrome include:

  • Injury – The most common cause of this ailment is an ankle sprain.
  • Repetitive Strain – Tension placed through the peroneus longus muscle from repetitive activities such as jumping and running may cause excessive traction on the bone causing it to sublux.
  • Altered Foot Biomechanics – Most people suffering from cuboid subluxation have flat feet.


A common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain along the outside of the foot which can be felt in the ankle and toes. This pain may create walking difficulties and may cause those with the condition to walk with a limp.


Diagnosis of cuboid syndrome is often difficult, and it is often misdiagnosed. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans often fail to properly show the cuboid subluxation. Although there isn’t a specific test used to diagnose cuboid syndrome, your podiatrist will usually check if pain is felt while pressing firmly on the cuboid bone of your foot.


Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are ice therapy, rest, exercise, taping, and orthotics.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Manalapan, NJ, and Staten Island, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


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