C is for the Cavus foot

June 18, 2023

Cavus foot, pes cavus, supinated foot are all names for a higher arched foot.

The Cavus foot, also known as high arches, is a condition characterized by an unusually high arch of the foot. In individuals with cavus foot, the arch of the foot is abnormally raised off the ground, causing the majority of the body weight to be borne by the ball and heel of the foot. This can lead to various symptoms and potential complications.

Neurological conditions: Cavus foot is often associated with neurological disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and hereditary sensory and motor neuropathy. These conditions can affect the nerves that control the muscles of the foot, leading to imbalances and deformities.
Structural abnormalities: Some individuals may have anatomical abnormalities, such as a tight Achilles tendon or a foot bone deformity, that contribute to the development of cavus foot.
Idiopathic: In some cases, the cause of cavus foot is unknown, and it is considered idiopathic.

Foot pain: Cavus foot can cause pain and discomfort, particularly in the arch, ball, and heel of the foot. The abnormal weight distribution can lead to increased pressure on certain areas, resulting in calluses, corns, and foot ulcers.
Instability: High arches can make the foot less stable and increase the risk of ankle sprains and other injuries.
Difficulty fitting into shoes: The high arch shape can make it challenging to find properly fitting shoes, as the foot may not fit well into standard shoe sizes.
Foot deformities: Over time, cavus foot can contribute to the development of other foot deformities, such as hammertoes or claw toes, where the toes curl abnormally

The diagnosis of pes cavus is based on appearance, symptoms and imaging.

The treatment of cavus foot aims to alleviate symptoms, improve stability, and prevent complications:

Foot Orthotic devices: Custom-made shoe inserts or orthotic devices can help provide cushioning, support the arch, and distribute pressure more evenly across the foot.
Supportive footwear: Wearing shoes with good arch support and cushioning can help reduce discomfort and provide stability.
Physical therapy: Stretching and strengthening exercises for the foot and ankle can help improve flexibility, balance, and muscle imbalances.
Bracing: In more severe cases or when conservative measures fail, bracing the foot and ankle can provide additional support.
Surgery: In rare cases where conservative treatments are ineffective, surgery may be considered. Surgical options depend on the underlying cause of the cavus foot and may involve tendon lengthening or other corrective procedures.


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