Cavus foot, or high arch foot, is characterised by a relatively high arch of the foot. When walking or standing, the high-arched foot distributes an excessive amount of weight on the ball and heel of the foot. Cavus foot can cause a number of indications and symptoms, including discomfort and instability. It can appear at any age and in one or both feet.
A neurologic problem or another medical condition, such as cerebral palsy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, spina bifida, polio, muscular dystrophy, or stroke, is frequently the cause of cavus foot. The high arch may signify a hereditary structural anomaly in other cases of cavus foot. The underlying aetiology of cavus foot primarily dictates its future course, hence a correct diagnosis is critical. If high arch foot is caused by a neurological issue or another medical condition, it is likely to deteriorate with time. Cases of cavus foot that do not stem from neurologic problems, on the other hand, normally do not vary in appearance.
Even when standing, the arch of a cavus foot seems high. Furthermore, one or more of the following symptoms might be present:
- Hammertoes (bent toes) or claw toes are two types of toes (toes clenched like a fist)
- Foot calluses on the ball, side, or heel
- Standing or walking pain
- An unstable foot as a result of the heel tilting inward, which can result in ankle sprains
Some patients with cavus feet may also have foot drop, which is a weakening of the muscles in the foot and ankle that causes the foot to drag when taking a step. Foot drop is frequently the result of a neurologic disease.
A consideration of the patient’s family history is included in the diagnosis of cavus foot. The foot and ankle surgeon evaluates the foot for high arches, calluses, hammertoes, and claw toes. Muscle strength is assessed in the foot, and the patient’s walking pattern and coordination are monitored. If a neurologic problem is suspected, the entire limb may be evaluated. The surgeon may also examine the wear pattern on the patient’s shoes.
X-rays are occasionally requested to better evaluate the situation. Furthermore, the surgeon may refer the patient to a neurologist for a thorough neurologic examination.
Treatment Without Surgery
Nonsurgical cavus foot therapy may comprise one or more of the following options:
- Orthotic braces. Custom orthotic devices that fit inside the shoe might be advantageous because they give the foot with support and cushioning.
- Shoe alterations. High-topped shoes provide ankle support, whereas shoes with larger heels on the bottom provide stability.
- Bracing. A brace may be recommended by the surgeon to assist keep the foot and ankle stable. Bracing can also help with foot drop.