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(also talipes planus, platypodia), a deformity of the foot characterized by the flattening of the longitudinal arch or, more rarely, the transversal arch as a result of weakness in the ligament-muscle apparatus. Flatfoot is either longitudinal or transversal, depending on the arch affected. A combination of these types is possible and can be further complicated by the presence of other foot deformities. With flatfoot, the entire sole of the foot touches the floor.
While congenital flatfoot is rare, there are several types of acquired flatfoot classified according to the cause. These are static, traumatic, and paralytic. Paralytic flatfoot, which occurs with poliomyelitis, is rare. Observed more frequently is traumatic flatfoot, which develops after a fracture of the ankle or the bones of the foot. Static flatfoot is the most common form and is caused by various strains on the feet, especially during the growth period. In adults, flatfoot often develops after the prolonged carrying of heavy objects, after continuous standing, as for example in surgeons and barbers, or after considerable weight gain. When there are bone fractures of a lower extremity, flatfoot often develops on the side opposite the fracture. In a number of cases, flatfoot is asymptomatic. In other cases, the legs tire when walking, and there are pains in the tibia muscles. Preventive measures include exercise and proper selection of footwear. Treatment consists in a set of special exercises for the muscles of the feet and tibia, massage, and inclusion of therapeutic insoles in footwear.
REFERENCESFridland, M. O. Ortopediia, 5th ed. Moscow, 1954.
Kuslik, M. I. “Ploskostopie.” In Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po khirurgii, vol. 12. Moscow, 1960.
Volkov, M. V., and V. D. Dedova. Detskaia ortopediia. Moscow, 1972.