Pediatric Orthopaedics: Metatarsus Adductus

January 10, 2019

Did you know that metatarsus adductus is more common in firstborn children and occurs in approximately 1 to 2 per 1,000 live births? It is a deformity that causes the foot or the front half of the forefoot to turn inward.

So what exactly is metatarsus adductus? For starters, the metatarsus is a group of bones located in the middle section of the foot, and are connected to the phalanges of the toes. When the metatarsal bones are turned toward the middle of the body, it causes a visible deformity. Usually, both feet are affected.

If you think your child has this condition, there are certain signs and symptoms that you should be on the lookout for. Check to see if your child’s foot has a curved shape, and if the front part of the foot points inward, or is slightly turned under. When examining their feet, take note if the inside of the foot appears to be caved in, while the outside is more rounded.

There are two types of metatarsus adductus: flexible and nonflexible. When the condition is flexible, that means that the foot can be straightened manually. When it’s nonflexible, the foot is stiff and will not return to a normal position after manual force.

The good news is that children born with this condition will rarely need treatment as they get older, though they may be at an increased risk for developmental dysplasia of the hip. Typically, metatarsus adductus goes away by itself in most children, but treatment with casts or special shoes can occasionally be necessary to improve the condition.

This article was adapted from Hopkins Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Read the full article here and here.

If you have any questions about metatarsus adductus, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician.

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