What is the Cuboid Bone?

A patient will need to dress in a hospital gown prior to an MRI procedure.
The cuboid bone helps maintain stability in the foot and ankle region.
Cuboid bone fractures often happen in conjunction with other foot injuries during falls or direct trauma.
A brace may be recommended to treat an injury to the cuboid bone.
An MRI scan may be used to diagnose a broken cuboid.
The services of a podiatrist may be required to deal with cuboid bone pain.
The cuboid bone is on the outside of the foot.
A break in the cuboid bone may not show up on an x-ray.
A broken cuboid bone will require a cast.
Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2015
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The cuboid bone is one of the bones on the lateral side of the foot, also known as the outside of the foot. The bone plays a key role in the stability of the foot and the jointing of the foot and ankle. As the name implies, this bone is cube-shaped, and in fact, knucklebones, the original dice, used the cuboid bones from animal feet. When rolled, knucklebones would eventually settle on one side, and markings could be used to assign a value or action to the side facing up.

The back part of the cuboid bone articulates with the calcaneous bone to form the calcaneocuboid joint. In the front, the cuboid meets up with the fourth and fifth metatarsals, two long bones which articulate with the toes. One important role of this bone is as a stabilizer to keep the outside of the foot stable, allowing people to walk with confidence. Bipedal walking is actually a bit challenging, and the articulation of the bones in the feet is key to distributing the weight of the body so that people can walk comfortably.


One problem which can emerge with the cuboid bone is subluxation, in which the bone is pushed downward and out of place. People with subluxation of this bone, also known as cuboid syndrome, experience a dull ache along the middle of the outside of the foot. They may find that it's difficult to put weight on the foot, and the pain does not go away with rest or elevation. This condition can be treated with repositioning of the bone, padding, and bracing to keep the foot stable while the foot heals.

The cuboid bone can also become broken, usually through dancing, heavy physical activity, or severe trauma to the foot. A broken cuboid can be tricky to diagnose without the assistance of advanced medical imaging such as an MRI, as the break may remain concealed on a basic foot x-ray. Breaks are treated with casting and walking boots to keep weight off lateral side of the foot while the cuboid bone heals.

It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether foot pain is from a breakage or from a lesser problem like inflammation. A podiatrist, a doctor who specializes in foot care, can examine the foot and conduct an interview to learn more about the specific symptoms. The doctor may recommend some treatment measures to address the pain, including bracing and pain medications, to see if the pain improves before ordering medical imaging studies and considering casting and other options.


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Post 8

It all may happen because of internal injuries like the outer bones of lower leg and a small chip on the foot And ankle bones.

Post 6

I am a middle aged woman who months ago started an active job always on my feet. I experienced a painful, fleshy growth on the sides of my feet where the cuboid lies. I had to buy double E width size tennis shoes for my feet to feel comfortable. Although the pain has subsided most days, the fleshy part still remains. What happened to my feet?

Post 5

find an osteopath who remembers feet from their training and go to them. i was using a cane for three years before i found mine. i had a pressure point so sensitive i couldn't walk some days. Three months of treatment and i can walk jog and run on a foot i had given up on. the pressure point has gone and i can balance on the outside of my foot. re-adjust the bones and find peace.

Post 4

I fractured by cuboid bone in right foot in September 2009 together with a severe sprained ankle. It was diagnosed through MRI and my consultant said it was uniting.

Although I am fit to walk now if I wear flat shoes it clicks and I have to move my foot to click it back in, is this normal? It is painful for a few minutes and I have to hobble but once I have moved my foot and clicked it, the pain goes!

Post 3

I've recently been experiencing some shin bone pain, and I spoke to someone who said that it could be a calcaneus or cuboid fracture -- is this true?

How can a bone in the foot cause pain in the shin? Is this even possible, and if so, what can I do about it?

Post 2

Would the cuboid bone be considered a sesamoid bone, or is it a different kind of bone? And while I'm asking, what about the scaphoid bone? Sesamoid or otherwise?

Post 1

How commonly is a foot or ankle injury related to the cuboid bone? I've been having some foot and ankle pain that I thought was related to ankle tendinitis, but now I'm wondering if it could actually be referred foot joint pain.

I don't know how I could have gotten a cuboid injury, but after reading this I'm really curious. Do you think that I could have a cuboid fracture, and if so, how long does it take a broken cuboid to heal?

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