Cavus foot is a condition in which the foot has a very high arch. The high-arched foot places an excessive amount of weight on the ball and heel of the foot when walking or standing. Cavus foot can lead to a variety of signs and symptoms, such as pain and instability. It can develop at any age and can occur in one or both feet.
Causes of Cavus Foot (High-Arched Foot)
Cavus foot is often caused by a neurologic disorder or other medical condition, such as cerebral palsy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, spina bifida, polio, muscular dystrophy or stroke. In other cases of cavus foot, the high arch may represent an inherited structural abnormality. An accurate diagnosis is important because the underlying cause of cavus foot largely determines its future course. If the high arch is due to a neurologic disorder or other medical condition, it is likely to progressively worsen. On the other hand, cases of cavus foot that do not result from neurologic disorders usually do not change in appearance.
Symptoms of Cavus Foot (High-Arched Foot)
The arch of a cavus foot will appear high even when standing. In addition, one or more of the following symptoms may be present:
- Hammertoes (bent toes) or claw toes (toes clenched like a fist)
- Calluses on the ball, side or heel of the foot
- Pain when standing or walking
- An unstable foot due to the heel tilting inward, which can lead to ankle sprains
Nonsurgical treatment of cavus foot may include one or more of the following options:
- Orthotic devices. Custom orthotic devices that fit into the shoe can be beneficial because they provide stability and cushioning to the foot.
- Shoe modifications. High-topped shoes support the ankle, and shoes with heels a little wider on the bottom add stability.
Podiatrists are the leading experts in foot and ankle care today. They treat all conditions affecting the foot and ankle, from the simple to the complex, in patients of all ages including high-arched or Cavus foot.