abnormally high arches

CAVUS FOOT Frequently Asked Questions

Imagine trying to build a house out of cards. You have to get the angle between the leaning cards just right for them to stand up.

If the angle is too low and flat, the cards fall down. If the angle is too sharp and high, they aren’t stable.

You can have a similar problem in your arches. Your midfoot has to curve just right to efficiently distribute your body weight and absorb the shock of your footsteps.

Conditions like cavus foot can make normal walking uncomfortable.

Cavus foot is a problem with excessively high arches.

This directs most of your body weight on to your heels and the ball of your foot, rather than distributing the pressure evenly over your entire foot.

Over time, this can create painful problems in both your forefoot and your heel.

You’ll be more prone to metatarsalgiaclaw toescalluses, hammertoes and pain when you stand or walk. You may have trouble fitting into some shoes.

Sometimes the foot tilts to one side, too, which destabilizes the limb and may increase the odds of spraining your ankle.

Cavus foot can be a natural foot shape that you’re born with, but frequently it’s the result of a neurological disorder.

Cerebral palsy, Charcot Marie Tooth disease, polio, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida are all conditions that may cause your arches to develop higher than normal.

Arches that are naturally high are static—they stay the way they are and generally don’t get worse.

Midfoot problems from nervous issues, however, tend to be progressive.

If you have a high arch, you aren’t able to distribute your body weight evenly through your whole foot. Instead, the extra pressure is directed into your heel and the ball of your foot.

This can cause pain in those areas when you stand or walk, particularly after an extended period of time.

You may develop calluses on your soles, too. The pressure may cause hammertoes or claw toes as well, adding to any discomfort.

If your high arch, or cavus foot, is the result of a neurological problem, you may have other painful issues as well. Your gait might change and your arch may get higher.

Some people develop foot drop, or weak muscles that make it difficult to lift your feet off the ground.

Finding shoes that comfortably accommodate your arch height and shape may be challenging as well, that’s where we come in. We are the only clinic in and around San Antonio to offer custom 3D orthotics with the FitStation by HP

The easiest way to identify your arch type is to take the “wet test.”

Wet the bottom of your foot in a shallow pan or bucket of water, then set your sole down on a piece of paper. Once you’ve made a footprint on the paper, remove your foot and examine the print’s shape.

If you have a moderate curve between the ball of the foot and the heel, you have a normal arch height.

If the print appears to have very little or no curve on the inside—so it’s just one oblong mark—you probably have low or flat arches.

If you have a significant curve in the middle of the print, so the ball of the foot and the heel are only connected by a small area, you have high arches.

No one arch type is “bad” or necessarily a problem; however, low and high arches may be more prone to pain and overuse issues. 

Cavus Foot: Abnormally High Arches

Cavus foot is much less common that flatfoot, but it can cause more pain and trouble walking—particularly if it’s connected to a neurological problem.

If you have high arches that are getting worse, or have simply become more painful, don’t wait to have them examined.

Take the next step toward happy feet and contact us today!

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Cavus Foot: Abnormally High Arches

cavus foot

treatment options

Can conservative care help treat cavus foot?

Diagnosing your arch issues and their source accurately is important to be able to treat the problem. Dr. Darren Silvester and our staff will use a variety of tests to determine whether or not high arches are behind your foot pain, and if an underlying issue led to midfoot changes.

Any neurological problems will have to be treated first to truly manage the discomfort and foot instability. Then we can help you relieve your limb pain.


conservative treatment options

HOW TO manage your midfoot conservatively:



You’ll need footwear that can help support and stabilize the lower limbs. This will mean wearing the right shoes, and possibly custom orthotics, to accommodate your arch shape.

Avoid super flat shoes or styles with raised heels.

Instead, wear footwear with a wide base for better stability, and make sure it has the right amount of cushioning under the arch. This helps absorb some of the shock of your steps.

Orthotics, such as our Custom 3D Orthotics – FitStation by HP, can supplement your shoes, too.

At Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic, we are the first to bring San Antonio and surrounding areas Custom 3D Orthotics with our FitStation by HP(Hewlett Packard), digitized for unparalleled accuracy.

Our FitStation provides thousands of data points on not only the pressure points of your foot standing still (like a cast would) and when your feet are in gait (a person’s manner of walking), giving the doctors a view of how your body as a whole is affecting each foot for your perfectly tailored fit. Helping relieve that pressure off the big toe joint.

In some cases, you may need a brace to stabilize your lower limbs.

Cavus Foot: Abnormally High Arches

minimially invasive

treatment & surgery

for cavus foot
(abnormally high arches)


treatment & surgery options

If conservative measures are not enough to relieve your pain, you may need surgery.

There are procedures that can correct bony deformities and tighten unstable ankles. Sometimes, restructuring the arch so it is flatter makes a difference for your discomfort.

Transferring tendons to stabilize the limb, or releasing over-tightened tissues, may help even out the joint as well.

Any extra deformities that have developed, like claw toes, will also be corrected during the procedure if needed.

Dr. Silvester and Dr. Larsen specialize in many advanced minimally and non-invasive treatments, and if necessaryadvanced minimally invasive and traditional surgical techniques with patient proven success stories.

Some of those are used to treat severe forms of cavus foot, such as:


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With our advanced and minimally invasive treatment options and our dedication to helping you be pain free, you are sure to get the relief you deserve. 


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