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Whenever a fractured bone is suspected, it's best to take a trip to the hospital emergency room for an X-ray to make sure the injury is properly treated. Treatment options for a cuboid bone fracture can range from wearing a cast or boot to undergoing surgery, although usually a weight-bearing cast or boot is sufficient. Healthcare professionals typically advise patients to stay off the foot for three to six weeks or until the pain subsides.
Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, the patient will be fitted with either a weight- or non-weight-bearing cast or boot. Usually, he or she is told to not put any pressure on the injured foot for the first several days or weeks, until the medical professional feels the fracture has healed enough to allow it to bear some weight.
If the healthcare professional advises the patient to use crutches, he or she should keep the injured foot off the ground at all times. Once the patient has been given permission, the foot can touch the ground when the crutches also touch the ground, as long as pain is minimal. If pain increases, then the patient should stop putting any weight on the fractured foot until pain subsides.
During the first 24 hours after an injury, the patient can help treatment by elevating and icing the injured foot. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications should be taken to control pain. Some medical professional will advise range-of-motion exercises as the bone fracture heals. Anytime the foot begins to hurt again, activity should be cut back until the pain goes away.
A cuboid bone fracture rarely happens in isolation, and other bones of the foot are usually involved. Many X-rays can miss a fracture of the cuboid bone, making it difficult to diagnose and easy to confuse with a sprain or plantar fasciitis. These injuries are considered midfoot fractures that usually happen as the result of a forceful injury or the foot being crushed. Fractures may either be an avulsion fracture, where an attached tendon or ligament pulls away a part of the bone, or a body fracture.
Although it is uncommon, sometimes a nutcracker fracture of the cuboid is seen in horseback riding children whose foot has become stuck in the stirrup. A nutcracker fracture results when the cuboid is compressed between the calcaneous and the fourth and fifth metatarsels. The usual treatment for this fracture is internal fixation and a bone graft, if the healthcare provider feels it is necessary. It’s important to treat this type of cuboid fracture correctly because there is a risk that incorrect treatment could lead to permanent disability.