Prevalence and effect of flatfoot among army privates
Background: Specific populations require strenuous activities such as soldiers, and flatfoot deformity can cause significant problems during training or operations. Prevalence of this deformity among Thai Army privates is limited and underestimated due to improper screening techniques. We would like to report the prevalence of flatfoot deformity using a new standardized device and compare performances of army privates between normal foot and flatfoot deformity Study design: The study employed a cross-sectional design Materials and Methods: A prospective study of 490 army privates in the King’s Guard, 2nd Cavalry Division, between June 2015 and November 2015 was conducted. Footprints were collected from all participant using a Harris Mat imprinter and the shape of their feet was recorded based on arch height. The Stahili index >0.77 (NY index) and arch height less than 6 mm were used as cut-off point values to diagnose flatfoot deformity. Additionally, military training performance (running 2 km) was evaluated using validated functional outcome (VAS-FA) and compared between normal arch and flatfoot deformity groups. Results: The prevalence of flatfoot deformity determined using footprints was 52.5% (233 participants: 111 of 233 participants were unilateral (47.6%) and 146 of 233 participants (52.3%) were bilateral flatfeet). The physical training revealed significant differences when compared between bilateral flatfeet and normal arch groups (p= 0.038) and bilateral flatfeet unilateral flatfoot groups (p= 0.009) BMI, VAS score and flatfoot deformity significantly affected the performances of their training (p= 0.03, 0.02, and 0.03 for BMI, VAS score and flatfoot deformity, respectively.) Conclusion: The prevalence of flatfeet deformity among army privates from this study was higher than relates studies. Bilateral flatfeet deformity had a significant effect on physical training. Although many factors affect training performance, BMI, VAS score and flatfoot deformity significantly affected the military training program.
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