High arch or cavus foot is a condition in which the arch on the bottom of the foot that runs from the toes to the heel is arched more than normal. Because of this, excessive weight falls on the ball and heel of the foot when walking or standing, causing pain and instability. Children with neurological disorders or other conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, poliomyelitis and muscular dystrophy are more likely to develop cavus foot. It may sometimes occur as an inherited abnormality.
What are the symptoms of cavus foot?
The symptoms of cavus foot include one or more of the following:
- Pain in the foot while walking, standing and running.
- Heel is tilted inwards leading to instability of the foot and ankle sprains.
- Callus formation on the ball and outer edges of the foot.
- Toe may bend to form a hammertoe or claw toe.
- Difficulty in wearing shoes.
- Shortened foot length.
How is cavus foot diagnosed?
Diagnosis of cavus foot is based on your family history and a physical examination of the foot. X-rays of your feet may also be ordered to determine the condition.
What are the treatment options?
High arches that are flexible do not require any treatment. In case of pain, shoe modifications such as an arch insert or support insole can help to relieve pain during walking. Custom orthotic devices can be prescribed to fit into the shoe, and provide stability and cushioning effect. Your doctor may recommend a brace to help keep the foot and ankle stable. In severe cases, surgery is performed to flatten the foot. Any coexisting nerve disorders are also treated.