What is metatarsus adductus and how it can be treated


The metatarsus is a collection of bones located in the middle of the foot. Each of the five metatarsal bones in each foot is attached to the toes’ phalanges. The metatarsal bones are turned toward the body’s center, which is known as the metatarsus adductus. This results in a noticeable malformation, which frequently affects both feet. Metatarsus adductus has no recognized cause. There was no link between gestational age at birth, maternal age at birth, or birth order. According to one idea, the disease is caused by the fetus being crammed inside the uterus during development. This might result in a foot malformation and an improper posture.


You may observe that your child’s foot has a bent form if they have metatarsus adductus. The forefoot (front portion of the foot) points inward and can be bent slightly under. The foot’s interior looks to have caved in, while the exterior appears to be more rounded. There is no foot drop, unlike clubfoot.

A physical exam can be used to identify metatarsus adductus and treatment options. The high arch and a noticeably bent and split big toe are telltale indicators of this disease. The degree of metatarsus adductus can be determined by measuring the range of motion of the foot. This condition is divided into two types: flexible and nonflexible. The foot can be manually straightened in a flexible metatarsus adductus. The nonflexible kind has a stiff foot that does not return to its usual position when physical force is applied.

The metatarsus adductus is a frequent issue that may be fixed. Starting therapy as soon as possible after delivery improves your child’s prognosis, regardless of how far the forefoot twists inward. However, kids born with metatarsus adductus seldom require treatment since the problem usually resolves independently as the child grows. Your child’s doctor may be able to provide you with advice on how to speed up this natural process. Only the most severe instances of metatarsus adductus are usually recommended for surgery. Few factors determine the type of metatarsus adductus treatment to be administered. Some of them include:

  • age, general health, and medical history of your child
  • the severity of your child’s ailment, as well as their tolerance for various operations or therapies
  • predictions regarding the condition’s progression
  • your preference or view

MTA usually fades away on its own after the first three years of life. Exercises to assist the foot progress into the proper posture may be offered to parents. If the MTA is severe or does not improve on its own, further therapies may be required:

Stretching of physical therapy. 

This is frequently given to aid in the return of the forefoot to its natural posture. The parent places the child’s heel between their thumb and index finger in the notch. The parent then gently tugs in the direction of the little toe while holding the forefoot between the thumb and index finger of the other hand.


If the foot does not begin to correct itself or the MTA is stiff or difficult to move into the correct position, this may be advised (rigid). The casts assist in repositioning the foot. Casts cover the entire leg, from the groin to the toe. Every several weeks, they are replaced. Special leg braces are sometimes employed as well.

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