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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > High Arches
      Category : Health Centers > Hands and Feet

High Arches

Alternate Names : Pes Cavus, Supinator

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

A foot with a very high or hollowed arch is known as pes cavus. A pes cavus foot can be rigid or flexible. A rigid cavus foot looks the same with weight off or on the foot. A flexible cavus foot has a high arch when there is no weight on the foot. The arch decreases when the person puts weight on the foot.

What is going on in the body?

In a person with high arches, the weight of the body is concentrated on the ball and heel of the foot. A flexible cavus foot often leads to plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of fibrous tissue under the skin of the sole.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

One of the most common causes of high arches is a loss of nerve function to the muscles of the foot. Other causes include:

  • diabetes
  • poliomyelitis, a disorder caused by a virus that affects the whole body including muscles and nerves. It may cause permanent muscle paralysis, disability, and deformity.
  • a spinal tumor, a mass within or surrounding the spinal cord
  • muscular dystrophy, a disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a progressive wasting of muscles in the arms and feet
  • congenital abnormality, or birth defect
  • muscle contractures following severe burns. A muscle contracture is a condition in which the muscle is tight and prevents normal mobility.
  • If the high arches are not treated, the joints of the foot can be damaged. Sometimes the foot can become misshapen or deformed.


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    High Arches: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Bill O'Halloran, DPM
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 05/18/01

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