The injury risk associated with pes planus in athletes

James D. Michelson, D. M. Durant, E. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Despite the common prophylactic use of rigid orthotics in athletes with flat feet to prevent subsequent injury, there is little scientific data in the literature examining the relationship between pes planus and athletic injuries to the lower extremity. The current prospective study was undertaken to establish what relationship, if any, exists between foot morphology and subsequent lower extremity injury. A total of 196 subjects were enrolled in the study, of which 143 (73%) were male and 53 (27%) were female. Forty-two percent of the participants (83) engaged in contact sports. There were a total of 227 episodes of injury involving the lower extremity. Logistic regression using contact sports, gender, and all of the different foot contact areas that were measured at the beginning of the study was undertaken. Although gender and participation in contact sports was predictive of some lower extremity injuries, the existence of pes planus as measured by medial midfoot contact area as a percentage of total contact area was not a risk factor for any injury of the lower extremity. This study shows that in an athletic population that is representative of collegiate athletics, the existence of flat footedness does not predispose to subsequent lower extremity injury. The routine prophylactic use of orthotics in flat-footed athletes to prevent future injury may therefore not be justified based on the data available. ɫ 2002 by the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-633
Number of pages5
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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