Cavus Foot (High Arches)
Cavus foot, also known as high foot arch, subtle cavus foot, or pes cavus, means that the arch of your foot is raised higher than normal. This can lead it a number of conditions, including foot pain. Pes cavus is the opposite of flat feet, and though it is less common, it also tends to be much more painful.
What Causes of Cavus Foot
High arch foot may be a hereditary foot structure, but can also be caused by an orthopedic (bone) or neurological (nerve) condition. Some examples of conditions that can cause pes cavus are cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or stroke. It is important that a doctor diagnoses the cause of cavus foot, as some conditions can cause it to worsen.
What are the Symptoms? How does it feel?
A person with pes cavus will have high arches, even when standing. Some people with cavus foot have a tendency to tilt their heels inward and place more weight on the ball of the feet and the heel. This can lead to bending and clenching of the toes and there may even be calluses in these areas. Some patients with high arches experience pain in the top and middle areas of their foot when standing or walking. A number of individuals with cavus foot have difficulty fitting into shoes. People with high arches may also frequently sprain their ankles due to the constant imbalance of the foot that causes the ankle to roll towards the outside.
What is the Treatment for Pain from High Arches?
As with any injury, your doctor will be the best source of advice on the appropriate treatment method for cavus foot, especially if there is an underlying condition causing high arches. If your foot is flexible and you are not experiencing any pain, you may not need any treatment for cavus foot. A shoe insole such as the DonJoy Arch Rival or orthotics may help provide stability and alleviate pain when walking. They also reduce pressure on the foot and help with shock absorption.
In rare cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to flatten the foot. This is usually only the case if non-surgical treatment fails to alleviate pain and improve stability.
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