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Keywords:

  • conservative treatment;
  • deformity;
  • foot;
  • metatarsus adductus;
  • paediatric

Abstract

Metatarsus adductus (MA) occurs in one to two cases per 1000 births and is the most common congenital foot deformity in newborns. The appearance is that of a curved or adducted forefoot with a normal hindfoot. A systematic literature review was conducted to answer the following question: For a child who presents with MA, what is the most evidence-based conservative treatment option? Thirteen articles were reviewed using the National Health and Medical Research Council levels of evidence and guidelines for clinical practice. Conservative treatment options reported on included the following: no treatment, stretching, splinting, serial casting, sitting and sleeping positions and footwear/orthotics. There was strong evidence supporting no treatment in the case of flexible MA. Some limited evidence was found for the treatment of semi-rigid MA. Clinicians should use these recommendations together with clinical experience when advising parents on treatment of MA.