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People with high arches usually have many foot and ankle problems. A high arch is shaped like the letter “C”. Just the shape of the foot can cause walking difficulties for the patient. High arches are usually genetic, but can be caused by a neurological problem also.
High arch, also called cavus foot, causes rigidity in the foot and the body’s natural ability to absorb shock is hampered. Several other problems typically occur due to high arches; heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, painful bumps on the back of the heel called bone spurs, and arch pain. The way the foot is shaped and high arched feet can be surgically corrected to change the way that it lands. The arch is typically stretched in a weird way and arch tissue gets inflamed and painful. Due to the instability bunions, or knob like structures on the side of the foot, occur and can get larger. Tendons on top of the foot and ankle typically will get strained because of the structure of the foot. If you have corns or calluses on the big toe and the pinky toe this is sometimes the result of high arched feet. Your shoes can not fit as they should due to the shape of your foot.
Treatment varies from patient to patient. It is important to have x-rays to see if there is what we call spurring, or bony growths (also called degenerative joint damage), that occurs due to this foot type. Caves or high arched feet can be surgically corrected, but we usually try a conservative treatment, which is often the treatment of choice. Typically custom orthotics, which are custom casted to your feet, will provide relief for patients. Another device we use is an ankle foot orthotic, a bulkier device that completely encapsulates the foot and ankle. Shoes that don’t support a high arched foot can be a problem. We recommend that if you have a cavus foot type that you be evaluated by a podiatrist. If you have a child that has this foot type it is very important for them to be evaluated to prevent injuries further down the road. Early detection is the key to healthier and less problematic scenarios that will occur in the foot.
Copyright (c) 2010 Mitchell Wachtel DPM
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write by Ethelbert