Pes Cavus (High arched feet)

pes cavus/high arched feet

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What is a Pes Cavus?  What are the causes of this condition?


Pes Cavus is an abnormally high arch of the foot that results in an excessive amount of body weight being directed to the ball and heel of the foot. Cavus foot can be congenital or acquired, may develop at any age, and can affect one or both feet.

Pes cavus foot type describes a highly arched foot whereby the longitudinal arch does not flatten on weightbearing. Generally speaking, the pes cavus foot type tends to be stiff with poor shock absorbing capacity. It can also present in a wide variety of a neurological disorders.

Symptoms of Pes Cavus/High Arched Feet

A person’s symptoms may vary from a mild problem with shoe fitting to significant disability. Symptoms can involve:

  • Shortened foot length
  • Foot pain with walking, standing, and running
  • Metatarsalgia with pain in the forefoot/ ball of the foot (usually 1st and 5th metatarsal heads), with or without calluses/corns
  • Pain and stiffness of the medial arch or anywhere along the mid-portion of the foot
  • Pain in the heel and sole of the foot from plantar fasciitis.
  • Associated discomfort within and near the ankle joint

In addition, the symptoms of a high arch foot do vary. Evidence of the condition also depends on the severity of the arch height, the availability of joint motion in the foot to help lower the arch and the activity levels or occupational demands placed on the high arched feet. So, most people with high arches will have no pain or any other symptoms.

What causes Pes Cavus/High Arched Feet, and who does it affect?

A pes cavus foot type can be caused by a number of factors. Sometimes the cause is not clearly understood. It’s causes can be due to neuromuscular dysfunction, weakness of the peroneal muscles or tightness of the tibialis posterior muscle.It may also be present in those with conditions such as metatarsus adductus or club foot (talipes equinovarus).

Moreover, those with medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and poliomyelitis are more likely to have a pes cavus foot type. Over time, those with a pes cavus foot type may experience degenerative changes to the midfoot joints which often results in pain if not treated.

Treatment options vary depending on if the deformity is flexible or rigid and if there is any paralysis from a neurological condition.
Are you suffering from this condition? One of our podiatrist can assist and help what treatment options are best for you.
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at 44 (0) 207 101 4000. 📞



We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team


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