Pes Cavus (High-Arched Foot)
A cavus foot is a foot in which the arch of the foot is unusually deep. The heel may also be tilted inwards (forming a cavo-varus foot). It is the normal foot shape for some people, but for others is can be result of problems in the spinal cord or nerves, muscles, and tendons that act upon the foot. A cavus foot provides a very stable platform for the body that may be an advantage in some sports but it is also a relatively stiff foot that may cause abnormal loading of, and therefore callosities (hard skin) under, the heel and ball of the foot. It is often associated with clawing of the toes, stress fractures of the fifth metatarsal and strain or rupture of the lateral (outer side) ligament of the ankle.
Many high arched feet cause no problems and require no specific treatment. For feet that have become painful, or where the deformity is progressing, treatment options include orthotics (insoles) or surgery to correct the shape of the foot and re-balance the forces acting upon it.