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Prevalence of Flat Foot among 6-15 Year Old Nigerian School Children Resident in Lagos

Ibeabuchi M, Obun C, Olabiyi O, Oluwabusola E and Adebayo A

Prevalence of Flat Foot among 6-15 Year Old Nigerian School Children Resident in Lagos

Flatfoot or pes planus is defined subjectively as a weight-bearing foot with an abnormally low or absent longitudinal arch. It has been observed to be the most common foot pathology not only in patients of all ages in general but in pediatric, orthopedic practice in particular. The medial longitudinal plantar arch has crucial functions in foot biomechanics. It acts as a foothold and shock absorber during walking and is the most important reference in determining the degree of pes planus and pes cavus. The aim of the study was to determine the incidence of flat foot in children and to check if prevalence was sexually dimorphic. This cross sectional study was carried out on pupils and students of University of Lagos Staff Primary School and University of Lagos International Secondary School. A total of 218 volunteers comprising 117 females and 101 males with ages ranging from 6-15 years were recruited for the study. Obtained footprints were scanned using the Bearpaw™ scanner and saved in a personal computer. The scanned prints were exported to CorelDraw™ software, where measurements for Mid Arch Width and Width at the Heel were taken to calculate Staheli Index. Independent samples test was used to compare group means and unpaired T-test was used to check for sexual dimorphism. Data analyses was performed using SPSS version 16 software. The results show that the overall mean and standard deviation for Staheli Index of the subjects for both feet was 1.02±0.28. There was no significant difference between males and females. The overall percentage of subjects with flatfeet in the study was 59 (13.53%) out of a total number of 436 feet analyzed. Of these number, males accounted for 39 (66.1%) of flat feet while the number in females was 20 (33.9%). This prevalence estimates can serve as baseline data for podiatrist, shoe manufacturers and can be helpful in clinical practice.

Key Words: Flat feet, Medial Longitudinal Arch, Staheli Index, CorelDraw™

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