Pronounced: pez cay-vus
Pes cavus is an abnormally high arched foot. People with this condition place too much weight and stress on the ball and heel of the foot when standing or walking.
Pes cavus can be caused by an underlying disease, injury, or an inherited foot problem. Causes include:
Pes cavus has a tendency to run in families. If you have a family member with very high arches, then you may be at increased risk for developing pes cavus.
Symptoms associated with pes cavus include:
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You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You will also be asked about your family medical history. Your foot will be examined closely. Your doctor may move it around to assess range of motion.
You may be referred to a specialist. An orthopedist specializes in bones. Podiatrists specialize in feet. The condition may be caused by a nervous system condition. In this case your doctor may refer you to a neurologist.
Images may need to be taken of your foot. This can be done with x-rays.
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Options include the following:
Changes may need to be made to provide foot support:
In some cases, medical treatment is not effective, so surgery is considered. The type of surgery depends on what is causing the pes cavus. One type of surgery, called an osteotomy removes part of the bone to correct the deformity.
American Podiatric Medical Association
Foot Health Facts—American College
and Ankle Surgeons
Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine
Canadian Podiatric Medical Association
Cavus foot (high-arched foot). American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/Content.aspx?id=1409&terms=cavus%20foot. Accessed March 11, 2016.
Shoe inserts and prescription custom orthotics. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.apma.org/Learn/FootHealth.cfm?ItemNumber=988. Accessed March 11, 2016.
Last reviewed March 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT, GCS
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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