What is Cavus Foot and how is it Treated?

Signs of cavus foot include an excessively high arch, pain, instability, and even clenched toes

The arch of your foot is designed to help absorb pressure and shock as you walk or stand. As you walk, your arch typically flexes a bit and distributes pressure across your foot, from your heel to your forefoot. If your arch is too high, however, it does not perform in this way. In fact, it stays rigid and places excessive pressure on your heel and the ball of your foot, causing pain and instability.

The challenges of cavus foot

The worst challenge of cavus foot, quite frankly, is pain. Over time, pain in the heel, as well as the ball of the foot, can worsen and the lack of weight distribution can eventually put a strain your lower limbs. Since the alignment of your foot may be off, you can be more susceptible to having weak ankles and be more prone to sprains. Calluses, hammertoes, and clawtoes can also be the result of cavus foot. Even finding comfortable footwear can be a challenge.

What causes cavus foot?

The arch of your foot develops as you grow. High arches can be an inherited trait, and once your high midfoot is developed, it doesn’t typically change shape or get worse with time. Cavus foot, however, is also the result of certain conditions such as spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, polio, cerebral palsy, and stroke.

In these cases, the arch of the foot may continue to grow higher and change shape. The changes and pain in these cases may grow progressively worse unless both the foot and underlying cause are addressed.

Treating cavus foot and its symptoms

First, it is crucial to determine the exact cause of your high arches in order to properly treat your condition. If the cause is neurological, a different course of treatment may be advised. Otherwise, family history is taken into account, and tests for muscle strength, walking patterns, and coordination may be performed. A neurologic evaluation by a neurologist may be recommended as part of the diagnosis.

Treatment to relieve pain and improve stability may include non-surgical options such as:

• Orthotic devices for your shoes to provide stability and cushioning

• Shoe modifications to support your ankle and add stability to the bottom of your foot

• Bracing to keep your foot and ankle stable

If these options don’t provide the pain relief and improved stability you seek, surgery may be in order. The good news is that you don’t have to stop enjoying regular activities because of your excessively high arches. With the right treatment and foot care, you can live the normal and active life you wish to enjoy.

Are you suffering from cavus foot? Recovery is possible! Get in touch with our office and we’ll give you a thorough exam to find a way to alleviate your pain. Give us a call at 954-452-4590 or contact us through our online form to set up an appointment. 

Dr. Nina L. Coletta has been practicing Podiatry for over twenty years. Her practice remains on the cutting edge of advancements in Podiatric Medicine, providing state-of-the-art laser treatments, three-dimensional technology to construct custom orthotics and braces, and in-house arterial and venous studies of the lower extremity. From pediatrics to geriatrics, her staff provides superior care in a warm, welcoming environment.

Nina L. Coletta, DPM, PA

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