Cuboid syndrome - is it real?

Cuboid syndrome is cloaked in something of an air of mystery, in fact, some authors openly question its existence.

A  recent FB video posting suggested that the term cuboid syndrome was the same as metatarsalgia, a term I hate with a passion. As clinicians, the most important thing we can do is make the diagnosis, and metatarsalgia is right up there with "headache' as a diagnoosis for someone with and aching head.

But, what about Cuboid Syndrome?

I see obvious differences, the most notable being that this is a discription of a very localised condition, whereas metatarsalgia covers a fairly broad anatomical zone with potentially dozens of diagnoses.

So, for the moment, I shall stick with the term "Cuboid Syndrome", much as the acccepted 'patellofemoral syndrome'.

I have little doubt that not only does it exist, but that it is probably much more common than we originally thought, a little like the navicular stress fracture of the late nineties. Whilst not as devastating to the sports preson as a navicular stress fracture, it is certainly a troublesome syndrome.

I also have no doubt that Cuboid Syndrome is NOT defined the much discussed "subluxing cuboid". The cuboid is a very stable bone, and I do not believe it subluxes, so we need that on the table immediately. 

What does the research tell us?

Cuboid syndrome is an easily misdiagnosed source of lateral midfoot pain, and is believed to arise from a subtle disruption of the arthrokinematics or structural congruity of the calcaneocuboid (CC) joint. This condition is associated with several clinical terms for lateral midfoot pathology, including cuboid fault syndrome, dropped cuboid, subluxed cuboid, locked cuboid, peroneal cuboid syndrome, and lateral plantar neuritis.

Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical