High Arch Cavus Foot / Charcot Marie Tooth Disorder

There are many causes for a high arch foot. In the United States the most common cause for a high arch foot is a form of muscular dystrophy called hereditary sensorimotor neuropathy. Most people recognize this by the more commonly used name of Charcot Marie Tooth Disease. The muscles in the lower extremity are found to weaken in a certain pattern resulting in an increase in arch height and weakness of certain muscle groups about the foot and ankle. The common pattern of weakness is noted to be a very prominent bone under the great toe ball of the foot area called the first metatarsal and a heel that is turned inwards resulting in a very high arch.

The diagnosis if often made with muscle testing and physical exam. If the problem is severe, a nerve conduction and nerve muscle testing is used to diagnose the level of muscle weakness prior to surgery. Conservative care includes the use of bracing or orthotics to control the abnormal foot motion and stabilize the foot. If surgery is required, the most common procedures are an elevation of the 1st metatarsal and a realignment of the heel. In certain severe cases, a tendon transfer may be done to balance the pull of the tendons about the foot and control abnormal motion.