Cavus foot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is abnormally high, causing an uneven distribution of weight when walking or standing. It can result in pain, difficulty walking, and other problems such as bunions, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, and calluses.
Causes of Cavus Foot
The causes of cavus foot can vary, but some common causes include neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; trauma or injury to the feet or ankles; genetic disorders such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; and overpronation, which is when the foot rolls inward while walking. Other factors that can contribute to cavus foot include certain medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and muscle imbalance.
The underlying cause of the patient's condition deeply impacts its future course. If it is caused by a neurologic disorder or other medical condition, it will likely worsen progressively. Cases of cavus foot that do not result from neurologic disorders do not usually change in appearance.
Symptoms of Cavus Foot
An obvious symptom of cavus foot is that the arch of the foot appears high, even upon standing. Pain is often noted on the lateral column of the foot with the instability of the lateral ankle and pain under the ball of the foot. Calluses may appear on the ball, side, or heel of the foot. Swelling in the lateral foot and ankle is sometimes noted.
The instability caused by the arch could result in ankle sprains and, in severe cases, lateral column stress fractures. Plantar fasciitis commonly occurs with high-arched feet, as do hammertoes (bent toes) or claw toes (toes clenched like a fist).
Patients with cavus foot may also experience weakness of the muscles in the foot and ankle that results in dragging the foot when taking a step—a symptom known as foot drop. This symptom is usually a sign of an underlying neurologic condition.
Diagnosing and Treating Cavus Foot
To diagnose cavus foot, our podiatrists will review your family and medical history. We will examine your feet, looking for a high arch, calluses, hammertoes, and claw toes. We will test the foot for muscle strength and observe your walking patterns and coordination. The entire limb might be examined if you appear to have a neurologic condition.
We may also look at the wear pattern of your shoes. At times, x-rays are ordered to further assess your foot's condition and give us a deeper understanding of your specific situation. You may sometimes be referred to a neurologist for a complete neurologic evaluation.
Your treatment plan will vary based on the result of your examination but may include:
Foot and ankle bracing
Bracing is often an effective treatment for mild cases of cavus foot.
Custom orthotic devices can be used to help distribute weight evenly and provide support and cushioning.
Exercises and stretches prescribed by a physical therapist can help improve the strength of your feet and ankles, reducing the symptoms of high arches or cavus foot.
In more severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct any abnormalities in the structure of the foot or ankle.
Are You Suffering From Cavus Foot or High Arches In The Caldwell Or Meridian, Idaho Area?
If you're suffering from cavus foot or high arches you owe it to yourself to speak with our experienced podiatrists as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 208.855.5955 to schedule your appointment. We service all areas surrounding Meridian, Idaho as well as all areas in the Caldwell, Idaho area. We look forward to helping you!