What is cavus foot?
In the same way that we all have different body types, hair color, eye color, heights and personalities, foot types vary as well. Some have thin narrow feet, others wide and flat. A high arched foot is called cavus foot and describes an arch that is higher than normal.
There are many foot abnormalities that do not result in any pain or problems, but cavus foot can cause some discomfort, as it requires the heel and the ball of the foot to endure an excessive amount of weight. The arch is designed to act as a shock absorber for the foot, and when this role is slightly compromised, other parts of the foot take over the job and can become overused. A high arched foot is usually present with a nerve or orthopedic condition. We see high arches in association with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, polio, muscular dystrophy and stroke.
Common symptoms to look for
A true diagnosis for the cause of the high arch is important, because if it is related to a neurological condition it is likely to worsen over time. In addition, this condition can also result in the development of hammertoes, calluses on the heel, side or ball of the foot, foot instability, and pain while standing or walking. An abnormally high arch is often visible when standing. You may also notice a shortened foot length and a difficulty finding shoes that comfortably fit your feet.
How can it be treated?
A high arch does not always require treatment. If the foot is flexible and well cared for, pain is often avoided and treatment unnecessary. When the deformity is progressive and the high arch causes secondary problems to develop, you may need treatment to maintain your foot health. If you have pain, treatment will vary depending on the severity of your condition. We may start with shoe modification to help relieve pain and improve the way you walk.
An arch support or custom orthotic insert is often very effective in providing support for the foot and accommodating for the deformity. If a high arch has resulted in a toe deformity, we can offer cushioning and padding to protect toes from irritation or the development of corns. To relieve symptoms a brace may also be required to keep your foot and ankle stable. When the pain or instability cannot be helped by these treatment methods, surgery involving reconstruction may be necessary to restore muscle balance and full function back to your foot. If this is the case, we will be able to help you determine the best procedure and guide you every step of the way.
If you are having foot pain that you suspect is related to high arches, contact Dr. Tejas Pandya for an accurate diagnosis. We can confirm the root of your discomfort and provide a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Call our office in Troy, NY at (518) 273-0053 to make an appointment today.