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What is Metatarsus Adductus ?

Infant with Metatarsus Adductus

Infant with Metatarsus Adductus.

Metatarsus adductus is an inward curving of the foot, shown in the picture opposite. It is present at birth but may not be noticed by a casual observer.  Metatarsus adductus is caused by the restricted position of the baby within the uterus. It is considered mild if the foot can be pushed back beyond ‘normal’ when assessing the condition.

It is moderate if the foot can be manipulated to appear normal but no more and severe if the foot cannot be made to appear straight at the assessment. Mild conditions will usually be treated by a course of parental manipulation over a number of weeks. Moderate conditions will usually be treated with parental stretching and a night splint to wear while sleeping.  Severe deformities may be treated by a series of casts (like for a broken leg) that can span several weeks.  Needing to progress to surgery is quite rare.

Some other conditions that may be confused with Metatarsus Adductus include Tibial Torsion and Femoral Anteversion.  A mild clubfoot deformity could be confused with a severe Metatarsus Adductus.

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