Bone, Joint and Muscle Conditions

Cavus Foot Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Cavus Foot

The most obvious symptom of cavus foot are a very high arch or arches in the feet. People with cavus foot may also have:

  • Calluses on the side, heel or balls of their feet
  • Bent toes (hammertoes)
  • Tightly flexed toes (claw toes)
  • Pain while walking or standing
  • Tendency to sprain ankles

Cavus Foot Diagnosis

First, we ask your child to stand while we examine their feet for signs of cavus foot. Because cavus foot tends to run in families, we often ask to examine the feet of parents and other family members, too.

We also check:

  • The strength of your child's legs, ankles, feet and toes since cavus foot often comes along with diseases that make muscles weak
  • Your child's spine to make sure it is flexible and the right shape
  • Your child's reflexes in the legs and belly (abdomen)

We will ask whether your child has had any problems controlling bowel movements or bladder. Finally, we will take radiographs of your child's back and feet.

Once we know that your child has cavus foot, we will begin to look for the cause of the problem. At Seattle Children's, our orthopedic doctors work closely with our neurologists to find the right answer.

Your child may need to have several tests to find the cause of cavus foot, including:

  • Electromyogram and nerve conduction velocity (EMG/NCV) studies
  • Blood test for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT)
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the spine and brain.