How does a doctor know my child has metatarsus adductus?
A physician makes the diagnosis of metatarsus adductus with a physical examination. During the examination, the physician will obtain a complete birth history of the child and ask if other family members were known to have metatarsus adductus.
- An infant with metatarsus adductus has a high arch and the big toe has a wide separation from the second toe and deviates inward.
- Flexible metatarsus adductus is diagnosed if the heel and forefoot can be aligned with each other with gentle pressure on the forefoot while holding the heel steady (a technique known as passive manipulation).
- If the forefoot is more difficult to align with the heel, it is considered a non-flexible, or stiff foot.
Diagnostic procedures are not usually necessary to evaluate metatarsus adductus. However, X-rays (a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film) of the feet are often done in the case of non-flexible metatarsus adductus.