Cuboid Stress Fracture: Cause, Diagnosis and Treatment

The cuboid bone is located in the mid foot just in front of the ankle. This bone acts as a stabilizer that allows you to walk properly and keep your balance when performing activities such as dancing or running. As you put pressure on your feet, this bone is pushed downward to take on the weight of your body, and then it rises again as you lift your foot to make it more comfortable to swing your leg through. Sometimes, stress fracture can occur to the bone.

Causes of a Cuboid Stress Fracture

Repetitive stress on the feet will cause the cuboid to fracture. In most cases this will not shatter the bone, but will cause it to crack. Weight bearing activities such as dancing, jumping or running that are done frequently can put the necessary stress on the feet, causing wear over time that leads to a fracture.

A sudden increase in the level of movement or physical activity can also cause cuboid to fracture as the muscles around the bone will not be built up enough to take on this added amount of activity.

These cracks can become more severe if the strenuous activities that damaged the bone are continued after the damage is done.

 

Risk Factors of a Cuboid Stress Fracture

Several factors can increase your risk of developing a stress fracture in the cuboid bone.

 

Symptoms and Diagnosis of a Cuboid Stress Fracture

Patients will notice localized pain existing in the outer portion of the middle of foot or their ankle as the fracture becomes more pronounced. Performing activities that put pressure on this area of the foot can increase the discomfort associated with this condition. In more severe cases, the pain may also radiate out to the inner portion and the sole of the foot, or through the heel and toes. This pain may be more pronounced at night or when you press on cuboid.

In most cases, a physical examination can detect a fractured cuboid bone. However, many doctors will choose to perform an imaging test including a CT scan, MRI or X-ray to determine the extent of the damage. Some doctors will also require this image confirmation to begin therapy on the affected foot.

 

Recovery Time of a Cuboid Stress Fracture

In most cases, patients can manage a stress fracture of the bone within 3-6 months. Severe cases may take over a year to heal completely, especially if intervention was not reached early on. Those that do not manage their injury may also see lingering effects throughout their life.

 

Treatments for a Cuboid Stress Fracture

Treatment for cuboid primarily revolves around resting the foot so it has time to heal.

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