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Lateral Column (Outside of Midfoot) Overload: Pain

Similarly to how lateral column pain is a descriptive term for a myriad of symptoms involving the joints and bones of the lateral column, lateral column overload is a somewhat non-specific condition that results from an excessive loading through the bones onto the outer part of the midfoot.

This kind of pain is often associated with a high arched foot or a very flat foot. These conditions increase the force through the lateral column which is comprised of the calcaneus, the cuboid and the fourth and fifth metatarsals, as well as their respective joints – the calcaneocuboid, the cuboidometatarsal and the intermetatarsal joints.

 

Causes

There are lots of cases which may lead you to acquire a lateral column overload. It may be due to arthritis, biomechanical abnormalities, acute fractures from trauma, or stress fractures from chronic overuse.

An ankle sprain, often in which there is an inversion injury, is one of the common reasons why a patient may acquire a lateral column pain. There are also instances where a pain in the lateral column originates from a tarsal coalition, peroneal tendonitis or subluxation, extensor digitorum brevis tendonitis, plantarflexion and inversion ankle injuries, cuboid subluxation and iatrogenic causes following surgery.

 

Symptoms

A patient with a lateral column pain will complain of acute or chronic pain in the area of the calcaneocuboid joint or the bases of the fourth and/or fifth metatarsal. The pain is usually greater with propulsion but may also be present during stance or non-weight bearing. Palpation should isolate the specific area of pain.

Tenderness may also be present along the peroneal tendons or the origin of the extensor digitorum brevis muscle. A lateral column pain is also often associated with foot deformities, such as flat foot or high arched foot.

 

Our Approach

Typically, your lateral column overload can be diagnosed using a physical exam. Radiographs such as x-rays are not generally used since they reveal little else and often come back negative.

At the same time, the treatment for this condition is usually non-operative. It is designed to minimize the force that is going through the outer part of your midfoot, without causing other complications. Thus, it is better for you to seek guidance from a trusted medical team. Contact us for more information regarding your condition.

 

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