Metatarsus adductus

What causes metatarsus adductus?

Metatarsus adductus is thought to be caused by the infant's position inside the womb. Babies in the breech position (with the baby's bottom pointed down), those born to first-time mothers, twin or multiple pregnancies, larger babies, and those born to mothers with a low-level of amniotic fluid (oligohydramnios) appear to be at a higher risk. There may also be a family history of the condition.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is metatarsus adductus?

Metatarsus adductus is a common foot deformity where the bones of the front of the foot bend or turn in toward the body. It may affect one or both feet. MedlinePlus provides an online image of metatarsus adductus. Newborns with metatarsus adductus may also have a problem called developmental dysplasia of the hip. This can result in the thigh bone slipping out of the hip socket. Metatarsus adductus is believed to be caused by the infant's position inside the womb. Most cases will resolve on their own. If the problem persists, stretching exercises, splints, special shoes, casting, and/or surgery may be needed.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might metatarsus adductus be treated?

Most cases (over 90%) of metatarsus adductus will resolve without treatment. When treatment is needed, the type is determined by the flexibility of the foot. Stretching exercises may be used if the foot can be easily moved into the normal position. Splints and shoes may be used for moderate cases, although the benefit of these devices has not been clearly proven. In severe cases, casting may be required. This is best done early in development (before 8 months of age), and involves the use of multiple casts which are changed every 1 to 2 weeks. Surgery, although uncommon, may be used for cases in older children with persistent metatarsus adductus.

Last updated on 05-01-20

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