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What is metatarsus adductus?
Metatarsus adductus is an in-toeing of the front of the foot generally present at birth. As one looks at the sole of the foot there is a "C-shaped" appearance. It can occur in an isolated fashion or along with another congenital deformity such as clubfoot. There are varying degrees of deformity ranging from mild to severe depending on how much in-toeing is present and whether it’s
flexible or stiff.
Will my child need surgery?
Not all metatarsus adductus deformities require surgery and some require no treatment at all. The
treatment of metatarsus adductus will vary depending on severity of the deformity and age of the
patient. Mild metatarsus adductus in infants will often resolve without treatment.
Moderate to severe deformities in infants can be treated with serial casting which involves manipulating
the foot and maintaining the correction in a plaster cast that is changed weekly. Serial casting is more
effective when implemented earlier after birth.
When is surgery considered?
Surgery is considered only when conservative measures such as serial casting or shoe modifications fail.
The surgical options will vary depending on age, degree of deformity, and stiffness. Surgical options
include: joint capsule releases to allow the metatarsal bones to be manipulated and osteotomies (saw
cuts in the bone) to place the metatarsals in a better alignment.
When should I consider getting an evaluation by a foot and ankle specialist?
Given the nature of the deformity and time-dependent treatment options, a consultation with a foot
and ankle specialist would be advised sooner rather than later. Discuss any concerns you have with your
obstetrician or pediatrician as they will be able to direct you to a specialist if needed.