Cavus Foot (High Arches)

When you think of arch problems chances are your mind usually goes to low arches, or flatfeet. However, there are other arch issues that can occur. One such condition is called cavus foot. This is when your arches are abnormally high, and it can lead to pain, discomfort, and the inability to find comfortably fitting shoes.

What is Cavus Foot?

Cavus foot is simply the term for an extremely high arch. When your arches are high, you put a lot more stress on the ball of the foot, which can then set you up for other foot conditions. You are most likely going to experience pain, discomfort, instability, or notice the appearance of a high arch even when standing still.

There are different reasons for people to develop a cavus foot. It can happen to anyone of any age, at any point in life. Some people may experience this issue due to a neurological disorder such as stroke, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy. It may also be genetic, which means you might just be predisposed to have high arches.

Knowing the cause of your cavus foot is important because it can determine the course of treatment. If a neurological disorder is behind this problem, you are most likely to get progressively worse over time. If the underlying cause is something else, though, you will probably stay about the same.

Can it Be Treated Conservatively?

There are certain treatment methods that can help ease the pain and discomfort that cavus foot causes, as well as make it possible for you to feel more secure on your feet. Orthotic devices can be quite beneficial for some people because they provide stability in the arch area, as well as cushioning for comfort. You can even make modifications to your shoes. For instance, shoes with a higher top can provide support to the ankle area, while shoes with a wider heel on the bottom can help with any stability issues. Furthermore, we may recommend bracing to help with keeping your feet and ankles stable.

Surgery Can Be an Option

In some cases, where conservative methods have failed, surgery may be required. The main goals of cavus foot surgery are to decrease pain and increase foot function. There are several different surgical procedures that your doctor can choose from.

You may require surgery in your soft tissues (plantar fascia, gastrocnemius muscle, ankle muscles, etc). Another method that can be helpful in some people is a tendon transfer. This is when a tendon is moved from one place to another to help provide better functionality. Other types of surgery include bone surgery, fusions, or toe surgery. Through consulting with Dr. Wachtel, you can find the best course of surgery for your unique feet.

Keep in mind that it’s important to take care of your feet post-operation. This means following all doctor orders and taking any required medication. Some people will be required to undergo physical therapy afterwards.