The term “cavovarus” refers to a foot with an arch that is higher than normal, and that turns in at the heel. This is a deformity that tends to worsen gradually over time. Depending on the age of the patient and the degree of deformity and stiffness, treatment options may range from supportive care with bracing, to surgical treatment for soft tissue releases, tendon transfers, and possibly reshaping or fusion of the bones and joints.
Weakness in the peroneal muscles and sometimes the small muscles in the foot are often the cause of a cavovarus foot deformity.
As the deformity worsens, there can be increasing pain at the ankle due to recurrent sprains, painful calluses at the side of the foot or base of the toes, or difficulty with shoe wear.
Treatment will depend on what, if anything, is causing pain. Generally, treatment of the foot deformity can involve several options. In mild cases, foot pain can be addressed with orthotics or custom shoes to support and protect the foot and relieve pressure areas. Corns and calluses, if present, can be treated with a regular skin care routine. If appropriate, a (opens in a new tab) may be recommended.
In severe cases, especially if pain is present and the height of the arch is progressively increasing, surgical treatment may be recommended. This can involve release of contracted soft tissues, tendon transfers to rebalance the foot, osteotomies to reshape the foot, and possibly joint fusions to realign and hold the foot in a corrected position.