High arched feet (cavus foot) are common and do not require treatment if they are not causing symptoms. Many professional athletes have subtle high arches, which allow high-level performance.

When is a high arch problematic?

High arches can lead to pain and overload of the outer part of the foot. High arches can be a problem if

  • One side only (unilateral)
  • Painful
  • Progressively worsening
  • Associated with stress fractures
  • Associated with ankle instability / peroneal tendon trouble


Painless bilateral high arches do not require treatment. For painful high arches orthotic treatment and supportive shoes should be trialed. Surgery is sometimes needed and is customized according to your foot.


Moderates to severe high arches usually require a combination of procedures. This usually involves releasing tight structures plus tendon transfer plus realignment of the heel bone and first ray.

Severe high arches with arthritis change usually require release of tight structures plus fusion of the affect joint.

After your surgery

  • Antibiotics will be given prior to surgery
  • You can go home the same day or next day according to your preference
  • You will be on crutches / frame for 6 weeks after surgery
  • You will be in plaster for 6 weeks posts surgery, with a wound review and suture removal around 14 days post surgery
  • Your surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of blood clot prevention with you

Risks of high arched feet surgery

  • Infection
  • Nerve or blood vessels injury
  • Ongoing pain / deformity recurrence
  • Blood clots
  • Non union (non healing) of bones
  • Arthritis

Perth Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Centre

31 Outram Street
West Perth WA 6005

9.00am – 4.00pm Monday to Friday

FAX  +61 8 9212 4264

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