Differentiate Cuboid Conditions in less than 15 seconds

cuboid test Nov 04, 2019

The Cuboid Assessment Test

The Cuboid Assessment Test effectively helps you determine if the Cuboid is displaced resulting in the loss of relationship between the Cuboid and the 4th & 5th Metatarsal bases. The steps to perform the Cuboid Assessment Test are:

  1. Position your client in a relaxed supine position with the foot resting on the examination chair or table.
  2. Stabilise the rearfoot (Ankle & Subtalar Joints) in a neutral midrange position with your medial hand.
  3. Apply a gentle dorsiflexion force (0.5 -1 kgs) to the plantar aspect of the 5th Metatarsal Head
  4. Ensure the dorsiflexion is isolated at the Cuboid:5th Metatarsal articulation and is not including pronation at the MTJ.

Interpreting Test Results

  • If the articular surfaces are congruent (Cuboid is in a functional position) the 5th Metatarsal Head will dorsiflex easily from its resting position.
  • If the articular surfaces are NOT congruent (Cuboid is in a dysfunctional or displaced position) the 5th Metatarsal Head will NOT dorsiflex at all from its resting position because of the loss of articular relationship between the Cuboid and the 5th Metatarsal Base.

Rookie Mistakes

As with every clinical skill, there is an ‘artistic’ element to assessing joint integrity manually.

Key rookie mistakes to avoid are:

  1. Avoid everting the 5th Metatarsal Head or pronating the MTJ by dorsiflexing the Metatarsal Head in the Sagittal Plane
  2. Ensure the whole rearfoot (Ankle and Sub-Talar Joint) is stabilised when performing the test. Pronation of the STJ will give you a ‘false positive’ result.
  3. Ensure you commence the dorsifexion of the Metatarsal Head from neutral (~90º to the Tibia). Commencing the dorsiflexion action when the 5th Metatarsal is plantarflexed will give you a ‘false positive’ result.

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