How Does MTA Affect Your Child?

Why was my child diagnosed with metatarsus adductus (MTA)?

The cause of metatarsus adductus is not known. According to research, it is prevalent in 7%-10% of newborns. Metatarsus adductus is believed to be caused by the infant’s position inside the womb. 

Although the cause of MTA is not certain, it is believed to be due to the child being tightly packed in the mothers womb. Most frequently, MTA is seen in twin births, first-borns and infants with prior family history of MTA.

Prospective studies reported the incidence of MTA as being about 5% of live births with 60% suffering from bilateral MTA. The global yearly incidence of MTA  is estimated at nearly 6.8 million patientism. This means that every 5 seconds, somewhere in the world a child is born with MTA!

What are some possible complications of metatarsus adductus (MTA) in my child?

It has long been noted that mild cases of metatarsus adductus can correct themselves over time. According to recent studies, only 80 to 85 percent of mild cases of MTA can be resolved without treatment. Contrary to popular belief, all moderate to severe cases that are not flexible – require treatment. Why take the gamble on your child’s future? The simple yet tedious practices of stretching and physiotherapy, often recommended, have never been proven as an effective solution based treatment.

According to Dr. Izak Daizade, an orthopaedic surgery specialist, to achieve successful results, the treatment must begin before the age of 9 months. Treatments after the age of 10 months are less successful. It is important to highlight that, any delay in diagnosis and treatment might be significant in the child’s adult life, hamper treatment and leave him with a deformed and unstable gait, and side effects when older. These side effects can include pain, rapid shoe wear out, stress fractures on the outer side of the foot (the fifth metatarsal bone), hallux valgus (“bunion”) and mallet toe.

Babies born with metatarsus adductus may have a higher risk for developmental dysplasia of the hip. This is a condition of the hip joint. It is when the top of the thighbone (femur) slips in and out of its socket. This happens because the socket is too shallow to keep the joint intact.

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