Is it risky to run with a cuboid fracture? Well, that’s a great question, and that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
The cuboid bone is an irregular bone at the base of the metatarsals, and it’s sandwiched in between the fourth and fifth metatarsal bones and the heel bone, and it is an irregular bone. It’s called the cuboid because it’s a little square, and like a cube, but not really. It’s a really weird looking cube, if you want to call it a cube. But anyway, it is irregular. It’s covered with cartilage on both ends, and it has a lot of structures that touch it, that rub against it, and it needs to be intact.
If you have a fracture at the base of the metatarsals in that joint, you’re going to get arthritis in those joints. And if you get arthritis in the fifth metatarsal cuboid joint, it’s a very, very difficult thing to fix. You can’t really fuse that joint because it can lead to fractures later. So, you don’t want to do that.
If you have a crack in the bone where the cartilage is between the cuboid and the heel bone, that can also cause lots of problems. You do not want to have that. And then where the peroneus longus tendon wraps around the cuboid and goes toward the first metatarsal on the bottom of your foot, well, obviously if you break it there, and you have that tendon sticking to the cuboid bone as it heals, that’s going to be a real problem. In short, if you tell a doctor, “Hey, I have a broken cuboid. Is it okay if I go for a run,” they’re going to have a heart attack. It’s going to be really anxiety provoking for that doctor.
I did a call recently with a guy that actually had a cuboid fracture, and he was getting better, and he was trying to figure out how he could start running. And I basically worked him through the process of how I would actually do that, how I would go about returning to running without really risking having a cuboid fracture.
So, you have two choices when you have an injury like that, whether it’s a calcaneal stress fracture, or a tibial stress fracture, or a cuboid fracture. You don’t want to break it, obviously, but you only have a couple of choices. One choice is just to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait until it is so healed that it couldn’t possibly break from you running. But if you do that, you’re going to be old, and fat, and out of shape. You do not want to wait forever. You’ve got to start working out as soon as possible. It’s not complicated. You have to just make sure that it doesn’t seem like it’s getting worse.
There’s some simple ways to do that and you have to do something to reduce the stress and strain as you test through the process of getting your fitness back, and returning to running. But if you do that, and you do it systematically, and you pay attention, I don’t think it’s that risky. But that does not mean that you should just go for a run, and tell somebody that I told you, you could go for a run with a cuboid fracture. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that you have to understand the process of analyzing it yourself, and make sure that you’ve been given clearance from your doctor before you start messing around with it. Otherwise, yes, it could be very risky.
But if you want to know the process that I use, you can get it for free. So go check it out, and I’ll show you how to work through this yourself and I’ll see you in the training.