Cavus (High arch) feet

Cavus is the term used to describe feet that have high arches. Patients with this type of foot shape have more problems than those with flat feet but are much less common. They are often found running in families and don’t always cause problems but can do so. The main features are as follows:

  • Callus (hard skin) under the balls and outer border of the feetĀ 

    A high arch or cavus foot

    A high arch or cavus foot

  • Tilting in of the heel
    • Causes excessive wear of the outside of shoes
    • Can cause frequent ‘giving way’ of the ankle
  • Often associated with a neurological cause
    • It is important for any patient with high arched feet to be examined to determine if there is a problem with the nervous system
    • The deformity often gets worse over time when a nerve problem is the cause
  • Shoe adjustments and insoles (orthotics) can be very helpful
  • Surgery may be necessary to correct the foot shape and prevent recurrence of the problem
  • Tendon transfer surgery can prevent permanent bony deformity occurring
  • If deformity is permanent then surgery will involve cutting the bones as well as tendon transfer surgery

Operative information