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What is the cause for flat foot?

Q: I am a 23 years old male. My weight is 67 kgs and height is 5.10 feet. I have flat feet since my childhood. To take care of it I even wore special shoes for about 7 years but without improvement. Now I have a SSB for Air Force (Technical-as I am B.Tech). Will it cause any problem during my medical check-up over there? I was told that as I am not going for flying or for field activity, this thing may not matter much.

A:Flat foot is a condition that can result from different causes. The usual variety, which is present from birth, does not change with the use of caliper or special shoes. The normal arch of the foot provides springiness to the gait and keeps the muscles of the back and front of the leg in balance. Collapse of the arch, as seen in flat foot alters the weight distribution of the body on the foot. This abnormal weight distribution is tolerated well by the patient when they are young. However, as a flat-footed patient grows older in some (this again is dependant on several factors) arthritic changes may appear earlier than normal. This can cause pain. It is because of this possibility of pre-mature arthritis and pain that Army, Air Force and Naval medical examinations declare such patients unfit for staff selection. I am not sure if there is a change in any such policy for non-combatant technical personnel. Since there is a shortage of such personnel they may be lenient towards you. However, as far as I know the rules, you are likely to be declared unfit.

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