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    A foot X-ray showing the complex bone system that makes up the human foot
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High Arched Feet

Definition

High Arched Feet known medically as pes cavus is an arch that is raised more than normal. The arch runs from the toes to the heel on the bottom of the foot. A high arch is the opposite of flat feet (pes planus). 

 

Cause

High foot arches are much less common than flat feet. They are more likely to be caused by a bone (orthopaedic) or nerve (neurological) condition.

Highly arched feet tend to be painful because more stress is placed on a reduced foot surface area in contact with the ground (due to the arch area being high).  A high arch condition can make it difficult to fit into shoes. Sometimes a high arched foot can cause disability. 

 

Treatment

People with highly arched feet should be checked for nerve and bone conditions. Identifying these other conditions may help prevent or reduce arch problems. The outlook of this condition depends on the actual cause of the high arch. In general it is more difficult to treat a high arched foot secondary to neurological problems (e.g. Charcot Marie Tooth Disease), in such a case the neurological problem has to be treated first. 

On the other hand, high arches -- especially ones that are flexible or well cared for -- may not need any treatment. Corrective shoes may help relieve pain and improve walking. This includes changes to the shoes, such as an arch insert and a support insole or customised podiatry prescribed orthotics. Surgery to flatten the foot is sometimes needed in severe cases. 

 

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