New parents love to examine each and every inch of their new baby and ooh and ah over those bright eyes, a sweet mouth, and tiny fingers and toes. It can be upsetting, then, if you notice that your child’s feet are oddly turned. One very common deformity that is present at birth is in-toeing, or being “pigeon-toed”.
With this problem, the toes point inward when walking or standing. There are a number of causes that can lead to this position, one of which is known as metatarsus adductus. This is when the front bones of the foot turn inward. The actual reason for this condition is not known, but many suspect that womb positioning has a lot to do with it.
Metatarsus adductus can either be “flexible” (the foot can still be positioned in a straight manner) or “rigid” (the foot cannot be moved without pain). Many children will simply grow out of this problem as they continue to age.
If your child’s in-toeing doesn’t spontaneously fix itself there are things you can do to help it along. For instance, there are simple changes you can make to how your child lays down. You can even do some passive manipulation while you are playing with your baby, or even changing those little newborn diapers!
In some cases this may not be enough and a casting program may be recommended. The casts are changed every 1-2 weeks. If casting shows improvement, your child will begin to wear straight cast shoes. These are shoes that are made with no curve.
In very rare cases your child’s rigid metatarsus adductus may not respond to any of these conservative methods of treatment. This may result in a need for surgery to release the joints in the forefoot. Following surgery your child will be in a cast, and will most likely undergo some type of physical therapy.
IF you have more questions regarding metatarsus adductus please don’t hesitate to call Dr. Peyman Elison at (623) 584-5556 to schedule your appointment with us at Fixing Feet Institute in Surprise, AZ. We know how important your children are to you, and we will make every effort to help their feet develop properly, so they can serve them well throughout life. That’s something to ooh and ah about!