Wednesday, February 25, 2009

High Arches=Neurological Impairment???

I took Flash to the podiatrist last night to get rid of some painful "basketball calluses". The podiatrist said that Flash has very high arches and that one calf muscle is more developed than the other (that's OK, I love him, anyway). He said that could be indicative of a neurological problem and recommended a neurological consult.

Have any of you ever heard of such a link? Flash does not display any cognitive or motor impairments at all, and there's no other reason to suspect that anything might be wrong (other than the fact that Flash thought that this was a riot, and spent the rest of the night claiming that he was too neurologically impaired to do his homework or take out the garbage.)
Are there any doctors out there that could shed a little light on this for me?


mother in israel said...

I don't know if I should admit it now, but I have high arches. Very high arches.

ProfK said...

Take a deep breath first. For one thing, neurological doesn't only refer to mental impairment or problems--the brain controls all the systems in the body, and some neurological disorders are actually physical problems.

Take Flash to an MD for a check--a podiatrist isn't an MD. You will hopefully find that this is all a tempest in a teapot.

Leora said...

Sounds like you need a good second opinion. Take Prof K's advice.

SuperRaizy said...

I'm not really nervous about this, I'm just a bit puzzled.
I will go to a neurologist to check it out. I just like having information so I know what to ask, etc.

Trip'n Mommy said...

So those of us with flat feet are... neurologically exceptional? ;-)

I love Flash's reaction. Very clever. Certainly no mental impairment!

Ezzie said...

Sorry, but Flash's response made me think of this.

SuperRaizy said...

Family Guy is Flash's favorite show!
He will definitely appreciate this clip.

Lakewood Falling Down said...

Wow. Being in special education for 20 years, and you'd think I'd heard it all. Just out of curiosity, did you "google" it? I'm going to!

Lakewood Falling Down said...

OK here is the scoop from Google:
Medical Encyclopedia: High arch

URL of this page:

Alternative names
Pes cavus; High foot arch


High arch is an excessively raised arch (also called instep) on the bottom of the foot. The arch runs from the toes to the heel. It is also called pes cavus.

High arch is the opposite of flat feet.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

High foot arches are much less common than flat feet. However, they are more likely to be associated with an orthopedic or neurological conditions. Neuromuscular diseases that cause changes in muscle tone may lead to the development of high arches.

Unlike flat feet, highly arched feet tend to be painful because more stress is placed on the section of the foot between the ankle and the toes (metatarsals). This condition generally makes it difficult to fit shoes. In addition, those with high arches usually need foot support. A high arch may cause significant disability.


* Shortened length of foot
* Difficulty fitting shoes
* Foot pain associated with walking, standing, and running

Signs and tests

* X-ray of the feet
* X-ray of the spine
* MRI of the spine
* Electromyography
* Nerve conduction studies


Corrective shoes may help to relieve pain and can improve walking. This includes orthopedic modifications to the shoes, such as an arch insert and a support insole. Surgery to flatten the foot is sometimes necessary in severe cases. Any underlying neurological problems, if present, must be treated by appropriate specialists.

Expectations (prognosis)

The expectations depend on the underlying neurological condition, although in mild cases, appropriate shoe wear and arch supports may provide welcome relief.


* Chronic pain
* Difficulty walking

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you suspect you are having foot pain related to high arches.


People with highly arched feet should be evaluated for underlying neurological and orthopedic conditions. Identifying these other conditions may help prevent or lessen impending arch problems.

Update Date: 12/1/2008

Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Adam makes no representation or warranty regarding the accuracy, reliability, completeness, currentness, or timeliness of the content, text or graphics. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2009, A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Frumgirl1 said...

"Neurological" does not necessarily mean anything to with the head. It merely means that there may be a nerve involved. Could be a pinched nerve from his back, or anywhere on his leg, and caused by anything from a tight muscle, to swelling, to a postural back problem.

The doctor is most likely focusing on the fact that one calf muscle is much smaller than the other, not the high arches. When a muscle doesn't have the proper innervation, it tends to "atrophe," or waste some.

-PT Student

SuperRaizy said...

Thank you for googling this!
Frumgirl 11-
Thank you for the information- that makes a lot of sense. I will take him to the doctor and then let y'all know what he said.

Anonymous said...

Hope you'll soon be reassured.

RaggedyMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lion of Zion said...

i also assume he was concerned about the calf discrepancy and not the high arches.

if there is a generalized assymetry, it could be indicative of a brain insult, etc. this is probably why the podiatrist recommends a neurological consult. and depending on how old your son is, you should consider a pediatric neurologist.

but keep in mind that nobody (or rather no body) is perfectly symetrical, so these differences are very often nothing to be concerned about (especially if localized, as is the way you describe it).

-not a PT or anyone else who writes with authority

SuperRaizy said...

RaggedyMom and LOZ-
Thank you very much for your input. I've scheduled a consult. We'll see what happens!

Anonymous said...

I agree with what LOZ said. Sometimes an unusual physical finding can be part of a syndrome which includes other issues. It seems that in your son's case, high arches are sometimes associated with neurological problems, but obviously most people with high arches don't have these issues. For example, when my dd was 4, she wasn't growing much, so she was tested for everything the docs could think of, including zebras like Turner Syndrome (since she was otherwise healthy & could multiply & divide by age 4 I really doubted she had it but it was good to have it ruled out). Good luck with the consult.

Pesky Settler said...

Is it any stranger than 'gynocological maturity' has a connection to bone density in a girl's/woman's wrist?

My oldest daughter was 15 and while showing signs of puberty, still hadn't begun her periods. I took her to the GYN who did, among other tests, an x-ray for a bone density scan which showed she 'had the wrist' of a 13 year old... less than a year later she started getting her period.

Anonymous said...

Pesky Settler,
The x-ray your daughter had was a "bone age" test, which is performed on both boys and girls. A child's skeleton changes as she ages and starts to look more like an adult skeleton. Your daughter's wrist x-ray was compared to standard tables to determine how her skeletal growth compared to that of other girls her age. This, along with the physical exam and any hormonal levels the GYN ordered, helped determine that your daughter was just maturing a little later, and didn't have another issue like PCOS. A bone age test is actually pretty much part of the standard of care for a patient like your daughter, and not considered strange at all.

Baila said...

I'm late on this discussion, but I'm curious as to what you will find. My bet is nothing.

And the only flat thing on my body are my feet. Maybe I should have my head examined.


i was at a specialist today he said i have a nerological genetic disease that has to do with high arches and slow communicaion and some times not being able to feel pins poked into my reflexes are lightning fast, so just tingling in left and right arms for now, and varying amounts of pain......not sure what its called cpt or who knows sorry.....