What is cavus foot?

Cavus foot is a condition in which one or both feet have a very high arch. Because of this, body weight is concentrated on the heel and ball of the foot. Often, cavus foot is caused by a health condition associated with muscle weakness, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, polio, muscular dystrophy, or stroke. If this is the case, cavus foot may get worse over time. In other cases, the cavus foot is an inherited anatomical issue and so is less likely to worsen over time.

What are the symptoms of cavus foot?

Cavus foot can develop at any age and can cause pain, instability, calluses, ankle sprains, and sometimes hammertoes (bent toes) or claw toes (toes that fold under or clench). Often, children with cavus foot have trouble finding shoes that fit or develop sore spots on the tops and middles of their feet when their skin rubs against the insides of shoes. Sometimes, children with cavus foot drag their feet when walking.

How is cavus foot treated?

There are some non-surgical treatment possibilities, such as arch supports and shoe modifications, that may be an option when cavus foot is not progressing or is in its early stages. However, in most cases surgery is necessary to correct the condition and requires two separate procedures. In the first surgery, the orthopedic surgery team releases the tight soft tissues in the arch of the foot. In the second surgery, the team reshapes the bone of the foot and moves several tendons in the foot to improve muscle balance.

About cavus foot surgery at Children’s

The surgery for cavus foot is performed by the accomplished pediatric orthopedic surgery team at Children’s. Orthopedic surgery teams at Children’s provide next-generation care to children from throughout the Upper Midwest and consistently perform some of the most cutting-edge surgical procedures available, including minimally invasive surgery, when appropriate. Cavus foot surgery is performed at Children’s – Minneapolis and Children’s – St. Paul.

  • If you are a family member and you’d like to make an appointment at our clinic locations in Minneapolis or St. Paul, please call Children’s Orthopedic Clinic main line at 651-220-5700.
  • If you are a health professional looking for a consultation or referral information, please call Children’s Orthopedic Clinic main line at 651-220-5700.