High-Arched Foot (Pes Cavus)

High-Arched Foot (Pes Cavus)

Pes Cavus, commonly known as a high-arched foot, is a foot deformity that can impact one's gait, balance, and overall foot health. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of Pes Cavus, shedding light on its causes, symptoms, diagnostic methods, and various management strategies. By providing a deeper understanding of this condition, we aim to empower readers with the knowledge to recognize, address, and seek appropriate care for high-arched feet.

Unraveling Pes Cavus

What is Pes Cavus?

Pes Cavus is a foot condition characterized by an abnormally high arch in the foot's longitudinal arch. Unlike a normal arch, which provides shock absorption and even weight distribution, a high arch can lead to excessive pressure on the heel and ball of the foot.

Causes of Pes Cavus

  1. Inherited Factors: Genetic predisposition can play a significant role in the development of high-arched feet.
  2. Neurological Conditions: Underlying neurological disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease or cerebral palsy can contribute to Pes Cavus.
  3. Muscular Imbalances: Imbalances in the muscles and tendons of the foot can result in an elevated arch.

Recognizing Symptoms of Pes Cavus

Foot Pain

Individuals with Pes Cavus may experience pain, particularly in the arch, as the high arch can lead to increased pressure on certain areas of the foot.

Instability and Balance Issues

The elevated arch can affect balance, leading to an increased risk of ankle sprains and instability during walking or physical activities.

Claw Toes or Hammertoes

Pes Cavus can contribute to the development of claw toes or hammertoes, where the toes curl downward due to muscle imbalances.

Diagnosing Pes Cavus

Clinical Examination

Healthcare professionals conduct a thorough examination of the foot, assessing the arch height, muscle strength, and overall foot structure.

Imaging Studies

X-rays may be ordered to visualize the bones and joints, helping determine the extent of the arch elevation and any associated deformities.

Electromyography (EMG)

For cases associated with neurological conditions, an EMG may be performed to assess the electrical activity of muscles and identify underlying nerve issues.

Management Strategies for Pes Cavus

Orthotic Devices

Custom orthotic inserts or arch supports can help distribute weight more evenly, provide support, and alleviate pain associated with Pes Cavus.

Physical Therapy

Targeted exercises focusing on stretching and strengthening specific muscles can improve foot flexibility and stability.

Footwear Modification

Choosing supportive and cushioned shoes with a wide toe box can help accommodate the high arch and reduce discomfort.

Surgical Intervention

In severe cases or when conservative measures fail, surgical procedures may be considered to correct muscle imbalances or address structural issues contributing to Pes Cavus.

Living with Pes Cavus

Lifestyle Adjustments

Adopting a proactive approach to foot health, including regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding activities that may exacerbate foot pain.

Regular Monitoring

Individuals with Pes Cavus should undergo regular check-ups to monitor any changes in foot structure, assess treatment effectiveness, and make adjustments as needed.

Prevention of Pes Cavus Complications

Early Intervention

Addressing high-arched feet in childhood, especially in cases of genetic predisposition, can help prevent the development of associated complications.

Choosing Appropriate Footwear

Encouraging the use of supportive footwear from an early age can contribute to maintaining foot health and preventing issues related to Pes Cavus.

Emotional and Psychological Impact

Supportive Resources

Seeking support from healthcare professionals, support groups, or mental health experts can assist individuals in coping with the emotional and psychological aspects of living with Pes Cavus.

Patient Education

Educating individuals about their condition, treatment options, and lifestyle modifications can empower them to actively participate in their care and make informed decisions.

Seeking Professional Guidance

Podiatrists and Orthopedic Specialists

Consulting with podiatrists or orthopedic specialists with expertise in foot conditions ensures a comprehensive assessment and personalized treatment plan. Regular follow-ups are essential for ongoing management.

Physical Therapists

Engaging with physical therapists specializing in foot rehabilitation can provide tailored exercise programs to support overall foot health.


In conclusion, Pes Cavus, while posing challenges, can be effectively managed through a combination of orthotic devices, physical therapy, and, in some cases, surgical intervention. Understanding the causes, recognizing symptoms, and adopting appropriate management strategies empower individuals to actively participate in their care and make informed lifestyle choices. Proactive measures, coupled with awareness and education, form the cornerstone of a comprehensive approach to preventing, diagnosing, and managing high-arched feet, allowing individuals to lead active and pain-free lives.

The information on this website is provided for educational and information purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult with a licensed medical provider and follow their recommendations regardless of what you read on this website. If you think you are having a medical emergency, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Links to other third-party websites are provided for your convenience only. If you decide to access any of the third-party websites, you do so entirely at your own risk and subject to the terms of use for those websites. Neither FAANC The Foot & Ankle Associates of North Ca, nor any contributor to this website, makes any representation, express or implied, regarding the information provided on this website or any information you may access on a third-party website using a link. Use of this website does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. If you would like to request an appointment with a health care provider, please call our office at (919) 231-7969.

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