Your feet handle significant amounts of pressure as they carry you around all day. They are efficient support structures, spreading your weight out evenly through the front, middle, and back of the foot. Part of what helps them do this is your arch. The bones in the middle of your feet come together to create an arch shape—a construction technique noted for its stability since ancient times and used in all kinds of buildings, roads and bridges. When your arch is not shaped correctly—like in cavus foot—you risk pain, a lack of support, and compounding deformity issues.
Cavus foot is also known as having “high arches.” Though significantly less common than low or fallen arches, an overly-raised arch directs the majority of your body weight to the heels and balls of your feet instead of spreading it out evenly, which puts extra pressure on those bones. This unevenness can lead to other problems in the foot, like callus buildup on stressed points, hammertoes, and ankle instability, among other things.
High arches are usually either inherited or the result of a muscular or nerve disorder. Inherited cavus foot is not likely to change and get worse, though the poor support may still result in pain and need some treatment. If the deformity develops as the result of a muscular or nerve disorder, however, it most likely will continue to worsen and lead to additional painful conditions. The doctors at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists of Arizona will examine your foot to determine what led to the deformity, how to best support your foot to eliminate any pain, and how to proceed if an underlying neurological issue is suspected.
Propping Up the Foot
Raised arches often need additional support in order to spread out the body’s weight without damaging the feet. A brace can stabilize the bones and the ankle. Orthotics and specialized shoes put supportive pieces under the arch, giving it something to rest on. They can also help cushion the foot to make walking more comfortable. If the deformity has led to other complications, orthotics can be made to correct and cushion those areas as well. Though rare, an excessively high arch that doesn’t respond to conservative treatment, or one that has induced many other foot conditions that cause pain, may require surgery to lower it and stabilize the foot.
Your arches are vitally important for holding you up and balancing your body. When your arch is poorly shaped, whether naturally or from some other disorder, you risk not only pain but also the possible destabilization of the other joints. If have raised arches, or pain in your foot of any kind, don’t ignore it. The experts at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists of Arizona can help you prevent complications from cavus foot as well as treat any discomfort you may already have, letting you walk away pain-free. Contact Dr. Su, Laurino, or Freestone today for an appointment or more information by visiting the contact page on the website or by calling (480) 963-9000 for the office in Chandler or (480) 981-1800 for the office in Gilbert. The offices can also be reached by fax: (480) 963-0375 for Chandler and (480) 981-0229 for Gilbert.