Medical Encyclopedia


Medical Encyclopedia

Other encyclopedia topics:  A-Ag  Ah-Ap  Aq-Az  B-Bk  Bl-Bz  C-Cg  Ch-Co  Cp-Cz  D-Di  Dj-Dz  E-Ep  Eq-Ez  F  G  H-Hf  Hg-Hz  I-In  Io-Iz  J  K  L-Ln  Lo-Lz  M-Mf  Mg-Mz  N  O  P-Pl  Pm-Pz  Q  R  S-Sh  Si-Sp  Sq-Sz  T-Tn  To-Tz  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  0-9 

Metatarsus adductus

Contents of this page:


Metatarsus adductus
Metatarsus adductus

Alternative Names    Return to top

Metatarsus varus; Forefoot varus

Definition    Return to top

Metatarsus adductus is a foot deformity. The bones in the middle of the foot bend in toward the body.

Causes    Return to top

Metatarsus adductus is thought to occur as a result of the infant's position inside the womb.

This is a relatively common disease affecting about one out of every 1,000 to 2,000 live births. Risk factors may include a condition called oligohydramnios in which the pregnant mother does not produce enough amniotic fluid.

Symptoms    Return to top

The front of the foot is bent inward. The back of the foot and the ankles are normal. (With a clubfoot, which is a different deformity, the foot will be pointed down and the ankle turned in.)

Exams and Tests    Return to top

Physical examination is all that is needed to diagnose metatarsus adductus.

Treatment    Return to top

Treatment depends on the severity of the deformity. In most children, the problem corrects itself as normal use of the feet develops. Such cases do not need any treatment.

Stretching exercises may be needed when the problem does not go away with normal use of the foot. These are done if the foot can be easily moved into a normal position.

Rarely, this disease causes a rigid deformity that cannot be corrected with stretching exercises. In these cases, casting and even surgery may be needed. Other conditions may need to be considered in these children. A pediatric orthopaedic surgeon should be involved in treating more severe deformities.

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

The outcome is excellent. Nearly all patients eventually have a normal looking, fully functional foot.

Possible Complications    Return to top

Developmental dislocation of the hip may be associated with a small number of infants with metatarsus adductus.

When to Contact a Medical Professional    Return to top

Call your health care provider if you are concerned about the appearance or flexibility of your infant's feet.

Update Date: 8/29/2008

Updated by: Thomas N. Joseph, MD, Private Practice specializing in Orthopaedics, subspecialty Foot and Ankle, Camden Bone & Joint, Camden, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M. Logo

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2009, A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.