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What is cavovarus foot?

Cavovarus foot is a foot that has a high arch (known as cavus), as well as an inward turning heel (known as varus). The condition can cause painful callouses and ankle instability. In most cases, surgery is recommended in order to realign the foot, particularly in cases where physical therapy and other non-surgical treatments have been unsuccessful in relieving painful symptoms. Foot correction surgery is generally very effective in improving function and reducing the risk of future injuries, including ankle sprains and broken bones.

How does the surgery work?

There are a number of surgical procedures that can be performed in order to correct a cavovarus foot. Some of these procedures include:

Soft tissue surgery

During this kind of procedure, a release of an over-pulled tendon is performed on the inside (medial) of the ankle. A tendon transfer can also be performed to help correct the deformity in the ankle joint.

In some cases, a tight calf muscle may contribute to the deformity, in which case the calf muscles or the Achilles tendon may be lengthened through an incision in the leg or ankle.

Osteotomies (bone surgeries)

These are usually done in cavo-varus correction. A wedge is removed from the outside of the heel bone (calcaneus) and fixed with a plate or screws. First metatarsal wedge is removed from the top to elevate first metatarsal and reduce arch height.

Tendon transfer

In some cases, the pull of the tendon is the cause of the foot deformity, which means that moving the tendon can help to improve the foot’s function. Dr Narramore may also decide to move a tendon from the inside of the ankle, to the side of the foot, in order to increase strength.

After the surgery, you will be in a cast for six weeks for the foot to heal. You will be required to wear a brace or surgical boot for the next 4 - 6 weeks after cast removal. Dr Narramore will recommend physiotherapy, which can help to strengthen the foot and relieve any pain and swelling.


Dr Chris Narramore consults and operates from the following locations: Constantiaberg Mediclinic or Sport Science Institute. Please contact his office directly to make an appointment and specify where you would like to be seen.


Room 207
Mediclinic Constantiaberg
Burnham Road
Cape Town 7800

Tel: +27 21 762 5228


Orthopaedic Sports Clinic
Sports Science Institute
Boundary Road
Cape Town 7700

Tel: +27 21 762 5228