Orthotic therapy can be prescribed to correct the foot shape in MTA.
Metatarsus Adductus (MTA) is a term for a congenital intoeing of the foot. It may affect one or both feet and has a characteristic appearance. Most cases (95%) of MTA will spontaneously correct without treatment or with minimal stretching exercises but some cases will not improve as the foot grows. It is these feet that are able to be managed with an orthotic therapy.
It is very difficult to tell if a foot with a flexible metatarsus adductus will correct by itself. However if the foot is stiff and cannot be over-corrected with manipulation it will be unlikely to improve by itself. Your Paediatrician, Orthopaedic Surgeon or Orthopaedic Physiotherapist will be able to determine whether orthotic treatment is indicated. Sometimes a series of plaster casts need to be applied to improve the position and occasionally some feet will need surgery.
At Orthokids, we usually treat metatarsus adductus with specialised boots called Bebax which are worn overnight. These are closely fitting leather boots with a universal joint connecting the front and the back part of the boot. This means the foot can be serially splinted into a corrected position, usually over a period of about six months. Adjustments to the position are made every four to eight weeks, depending on age.
As well as using the bebax orthosis at night, parents are encouraged to help stretch out the tight ligaments of the feet with some specific exercises which are easy to do.
Current research has shown Bebax therapy to be an effective treatment for resistant MTA.