Medical City Dallas

Baylor, Scott & White Plano


Treating Metatarsus Adductus

Metatarsus Adductus:  A Common Foot DeformityAnticipation is the name of the game during the nine months that precede the birth of a child.  Expectant dads and moms choose names, room décor, and shop for the most up-to-date baby gear.  After all of the waiting, many parents are surprised and dismayed when their baby is born with a foot deformity.  However, most congenital foot conditions are treatable when addressed immediately after birth.

Long Name, Simple Explanation

Metatarsus adductus (MTA), also known as metatarsus varus, is not uncommon.  Its name seems complicated, but the condition is simply characterized by the front of the foot turning inward.  The rest of the foot is in the proper position, including the heel.  The cause of this deformity is unknown.  Many believe that it has to do with the way that the baby is turned while in the mother’s womb.  In some cases, the condition has been present in other family members as well.  Both boys and girls can be affected, and with this deformity comes an increased risk of hip dysplasia.

How is Metatarsus Adductus diagnosed?

Every newborn is examined closely by their physician.  Common congenital foot deformities are apparent during this physical exam.  The doctor will note whether or not the foot can be moved into its normal position.  If it is flexible, the foot will be monitored with the expectation that it will correct on its own.

If the foot cannot be placed in the correct position by gentle hand manipulation, more diagnostic measures will be needed.  It is likely that x-rays will be taken of the affected foot, so that an appropriate treatment plan can be made.  The good news is that most cases fall into the flexible category.

What should we expect if treatment is required?

Remember that you are your child’s best advocate for good health.  Take time to educate yourself about this and any other foot concerns by visiting our patient library.  When you have questions, contact us to ask and request follow-up information to clear up any confusion.

The goal of treating MTA is placing the foot in its appropriate position.  If your child’s foot is flexible, the care team may choose a “wait and see” approach.  However, a simple home exercise plan that involves stretching may also be recommended.   Also, note your infant’s sleeping position.  All babies should sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS (unless advised differently by a physician).  This is also helpful in the correction of Metatarsus adductus since the feet are often turned in when a baby sleeps on the stomach.

For cases where the foot is not flexible, casting may be attempted prior to any invasive treatments such as surgery.  Long casts are used to manipulate the front of the foot.  This process can be intense since the casts must be changed frequently (every 1-2 weeks).  A special shoe is also used in straightening process.  If the foot does not respond to this method, the involved joints may have to be addressed surgically.  Casting will still be required after the procedure.

Team Up to Correct MTA

The diagnosis of a foot deformity at your child’s birth can be overwhelming, however, you’re not alone!  Drs. Joel Brook and David Northcutt will walk with you every step of the way.  Schedule a visit at one of our offices today to learn more about available treatment options for common pediatric conditions.  With convenient locations in Dallas and Plano, TX offices, our expert staff is ready to serve you.

"I did 3 EPAT treatments and it gave me tremendous relief from my plantar fasciitis. I highly recommend this for anyone who is dealing with PF. Also, the physical therapist Dr. Brook sent me too is fantastic. I am definitely on the mend and so glad I did EPAT."- All H. 5 star all h
"Dr Northcutt is a fantastic physician. My first surgery with him (although painful), went very well. A couple of issues (with his staff) needed to be corrected, I appreciated his calm and professional demeanor and he corrected those issues promptly. He sets the bar high (the mark of a great physician), and that is the key reason why I'm coming back to him to correct my other foot. I would highly recommend him."- She B. 5 star
"The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of care."- Joseph B. 5 star
"My experience was a good one from pre-op to post -op. I saw the doctor right before my surgery.He explained the process to me and my husband. The recovery nurse was great. It was neither crowded or chaotic as some day surgery centers. My foot is doing well as I follow instructions. I look forward to my one week progress visit!"- Patricia T.5 star
"I had dealt with a painful foot problem for five months and had seen three different Doctors before seeing an article in D Magazine about Dr. Joel Brook. Dr. Brook took one look at my foot, explained the causes for my pain and set me up on a successful treatment plan. He is very knowledgeable, thorough and exhibits a caring attitude. I highly recommend him."- Ginger W. 5 star
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