Document Type



Footprints of 1,015 apparently healthy young Indians, between 17-32 years of age were studied to develop an objective index for the estimation of condition of the arches and prevalence of pes planus. Metrical measurements to estimate the state of arches was arbitrarily limited to the middle 4/10 of the footprint. Ratio of contact area to the total area of middle 4/10 of the foot-print (Contact Index I) was considered as representative of the condition of arches. The ratio of contact width to the total width of the foot (Contact Index II) correlated the best with Contact Index I. The mean value of Contact Index II was significantly lower in females (p< .05) than in males. Regression formulae applied on a fresh sample of 30 other subjects showed that Contact Index I can be estimated from Index II and that the results did not differ significantly. Feet were considered as normal up to one standard deviation around the mean value of an index, and values greater or lesser than this as abnormal. Flatfoot was further graded as probable (Mean + 1 S.D. to + 2 S.D.)or definite (Mean + 2 S.D. or more). Using these criteria, the prevalence of definite pes planus in the population studied was 4.1% by Contact Index I and 5.1% by Contact Index II. The findings suggest that Contact Index II is a simple, reliable and feasible method to assess the condition of arches in field studies of pes planus in a population.