The cuboid bone is just in front of your heel bone. It gets its name because it's shaped like a cube. A tendon coming from the outside of your ankle called peroneal, a peroneal tendon. It comes around the back of your ankle and courses all the way under your foot in a groove, right under the cuboid all the way over to the bottom of the first metatarsal bone on the other side of the foot. This tendon helps us to bring down that bone and have that beautiful pose as you come off the ground.

The peroneal tendon can become irritated as it courses under the cuboid. You'll notice if you look at this, that it almost takes a right angle turn. Imagine one of your old movies where the rope is over the cliff, and it's about to split. Well, due to many different factors, this tendon coursing under that, at that angle, can become very irritated. You notice the bone right in front of it. It's really prominent. You can feel this on the outside of your foot. But the pain isn't there. It's directly behind that and underneath.

The pain along this tendon can also occur as the tendon takes a right angle turn up behind the ankle. So the cuboid syndrome would also include the peroneal tendon, add -itis for inflammation, and we get peroneal tendonitis and the cuboid syndrome.

What Puts You At Risk for Cuboid Syndrome?

People at higher risk for cuboid syndrome have:

  • high arches and roll their ankle outward, which pulls on the peroneal tendon
  • tight calf muscle and Achilles tendon. If this is too tight, as you drive forward and you're walking or running, if you can't move properly because of the tightness, the force can go elsewhere and bring on the cuboid syndrome.
  • flexible flatfoot and you roll their ankle excessively inward. So, along with everything else related to the flexible flat foot syndrome, the cuboid syndrome can also occur.

So if you're having pain under the bottom of your foot, where we've described more to the outside, and not at the base of the heel, call our office today, so we can evaluate this and help you resolve this quickly. 

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.