Cavus Foot Type

By Gary N. Friedlander DPM, FACFAS and Jay C. Larson DPM
February 29, 2016
Category: Foot Problems

Feet, just like people, come in all different shapes and sizes. Two specific shapes that podiatrist see in their office are pes cavus and pes planus. Both of these are referring to the arch of the foot. These foot types are very different and an array of issues can be associated with each foot type. To best describe each foot structure, imagine you are at swimming pool and you just stepped out of the water. If you have a pes cavus foot type, you will see your heel imprint and ball of your foot with only a small slender amount of the midfoot. If you have pes planus, you will see heel, ball of your foot and a larger portion of your midfoot.

This blog we are going to focus on pes cavus and the issues that can be associated with it. Pes cavus can be described as a foot type with a high arch. High arches can be hereditary and may also be associated with neuromuscular disorders such as spina bifida, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and Friedreichs ataxia. Additionally, trauma can cause pes cavus deformities.

Common issues associated with pes cavus

  • Ankle sprains

  • Forefoot pain

  • Painful calluses under metatarsal heads

  • Digital contractures

  • Heel, knee or hip pain due to lack of shock absorption

Pes cavus can present at many different ages and have different symptoms associated with it. Conservative treatment can include shoe modifications and orthotics. Both of these treatments can increase the weight-bearing surface of the foot and relieve pressure of painful areas of the foot. In younger patients, passive stretching and casting may be beneficial. Surgical options vary between tendon transfers and bone restructuring to produce a more balanced weight bearing foot. After imaging, such as and x-ray or CT scan, and clinical workup your podiatrist can discuss both conservative and non-conservative treatment options and together can determine the best course of treatment.

It is important to note that not all pes cavus feet are painful or have symptoms; however, if you notice any changes in their foot health, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.

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