Pes cavus

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Pes cavus
ICD-10 Q66.7
ICD-9 754.71
DiseasesDB 24563
MedlinePlus 001261
eMedicine orthoped/539 

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Pes cavus is a medical term for a somewhat unusual condition of the foot, or pes, due to a fixed plantar flexion of the foot. The resulting configuration is a highly arched foot—giving the condition its more common name, high arches—which is the opposite of a flat foot and somewhat less common.

As with certain cases of flat feet, pes cavus may be painful due to metatarsal compression; however, high arches— particularly if they are flexible or properly cared-for—may be an asymptomatic condition and in fact beneficial to the person.

People with pes cavus sometimes—though not always—have difficulty finding shoes that fit and may require support in their shoes. Children with high arches who have difficulty walking may wear specially-designed insoles, which are available in various sizes and can be made to order.

High arches may be hereditary or acquired, and the underlying cause may be neurological, orthopedic or neuromuscular. Pes cavus is oftentimes—but not always—connected through Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy Type 1 (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease) and Friedreich's Ataxia; many other cases of pes cavus are natural.


Surgical treatment is only initiated if there is severe pain, as the available operations can be difficult. Otherwise, high arches may be handled with care and proper treatment.

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