High arch

Alternative Names

Pes cavus; High foot arch; High instep

Definition of High arch

High arch is an arch that is raised more than normal. The arch, or instep, runs from the toes to the heel on the bottom of the foot. It is also called pes cavus.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

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

Signs and tests

When the person stands on the foot, the instep looks hollow and most of the weight is on the back and balls of the foot (metatarsals head).

Treatment

High arches — especially ones that are flexible or well cared for — may not need any treatment.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook depends on the condition causing high arches. In mild cases, wearing appropriate shoes and arch supports may provide relief.

Review

Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/12/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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