What is metatarsus adductus? Although it may seem like confusing medical jargon, the name says it all. Metatarsals are the long bones in the front of your foot that connect to the toes, while the term adductus is referring to an inward direction of those bones. So simply put, metatarsus adductus is the bones in the front of the foot turning inward.
This condition is commonly seen in newborns. The newborns will present with “C” shaped feet with the long curved part of the “C” representing the outside edge of the foot. This presentation can be very concerning for parents and may cause some anxiety.
The causes of metatarsus adductus are not completely understood. It is important to note that treatment in most cases is not needed. The majority of cases resolve on their own as the child grows. There are two different categories of metatarsus adductus. The deformity is considered flexible when the physician can manually straighten the foot. A ridged deformity is when the bones of the foot restrict straightening. A ridged deformity cannot be straightened manually.
If metatarsus adductus does not resolve spontaneously, treatment starts with stretching and casting. These procedures work well to fix flexible deformities. Through multiple casts the inward foot can be slowly and safely be corrected. If the deformity is ridged, surgery may be needed to realign the bones once the baby is of appropriate age. The podiatrist will guide and inform parents of the safest and most effective treatment options.
Metatarsus adductus is a common condition that will either resolve on its own or can be treated by a podiatrist. If you notice any changes in your foot health, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.