Pes Cavus

(Cavus Foot; High Arched Foot; Claw Foot)

How to Say It: pez cay-vus


Pes cavus is a foot that has an abnormally high arch.


Pes cavus may be caused by another health problem, such as:

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in people who are over 60 years of age. It is also more common in women.


Some people may not have symptoms. People who do may have:

  • Pain in 1 or both feet
  • Problems walking
  • A history of ankle sprains
  • Calluses

Claw Toes

claw toe
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You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on your feet. This is enough to make the diagnosis.

Images may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. This can be done with x-rays.


Any health problems causing pes cavus will need to be treated. These methods may also be used:

  • Physical therapy
  • A change in shoes, shoe inserts, or a brace to manage symptoms

People who are not helped by these methods may need surgery. The type of surgery done depends on what is causing the pes cavus.


There are no known guidelines to prevent pes cavus.


American Podiatric Medical Association
Foot Health Facts—American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons


Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine
Canadian Podiatric Medical Association


Cavus foot (high-arched foot). American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons website. Available at: Accessed July 30, 2020.
Eleswarapu AS, Yamini B, et al. Evaluating the Cavus Foot. Pediatr Ann. 2016 Jun 1;45(6):e218-222.
Pes cavus. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated September 26, 2017. Accessed July 30, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
Last Updated: 3/12/2021

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