Lateral Column Syndrome

Pain on the Outside Edge of Foot

What could be my problem?

Lateral Column Syndrome will present with pain on the lateral (outside edge) of the foot. Problems are centered in an area made up of the fourth and fifth metatarsals, and the associated tarsal joints. Pain on the lateral column may involve the calcaneocubion joint on the fourth and fifth metatarsal-cuboid joints. Pain may be at the base of the fifth metatarsal and/or on the top of the foot.

What causes Lateral Column Syndrome?

  • Arthritis
  • Abnormal gait resulting in chronic plantar fasciitis
  • Stress fracture of the cuboid bone
  • Inversion ankle sprain
  • Chronic tendonitis and associated dysfunction of the peroneus longus and brevis tendons
  • A common complication of surgery to the plantar fascia

When to see a doctor for foot pain that could be Lateral Column Syndrome:

  • If you have pain, while weight bearing, in the lateral outside area of the foot that does not improve with rest

If I have Lateral Column Syndrome, what are my foot pain treatment options?


  •   Rest
  •   Custom orthotics to correct abnormal gait biomechanics
  •   Cortosteroid injection therapy
  •   Casting   


  • If an avulsion fracture results in a large displaced fracture fragment open reduction and internal fixation with plates and screws may be necessary
  • Because of its location on the bone, a Jones Fracture may take longer to heal. In some cases a Jones fracture may not heal at all, a condition called “nonunion”.  When this happens surgery is often required to treat the fracture similar to avulsion fracture surgery.