Sickle Foot - Metatarsus Adductus, Pes Adductus

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Sickle Foot - Metatarsus Adductus, Pes Adductus
Sickle Foot - Metatarsus Adductus, Pes Adductus

Video: Sickle Foot - Metatarsus Adductus, Pes Adductus

Video: Sickle Foot - Metatarsus Adductus, Pes Adductus
Video: 13- Knee & foot deformities: Metatarsus-adductus testing 2023, December

Sickle foot

The sickle foot (metatarsus adductus, pes adductus) is the most common misalignment of the foot. It can be congenital or acquired and is often combined with other foot malformations. The sickle foot has a sickle-shaped arch on the inside of the foot. This malformation often occurs on both feet. It almost always develops after birth. Interestingly, premature babies do not develop this malformation.

Babies who sleep a lot on their stomachs have a similar foot position, which however disappears by itself. If the rear part of the foot also tilts inwards (valgus position), the deformity is called a serpentine foot. Foot malpositions are treated orthopedically. Consequential damage can be prevented through accompanying physiotherapy.


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  • What are the causes of the sickle foot?
  • How is the diagnosis made?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is the sickle foot treated?
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

What are the causes of the sickle foot?

The sickle foot can be caused by excessive tension in the muscle that brings the big toe to the other toes (adductor hallucis muscle) or the muscle that lifts the inside of the foot (tibialis anterior muscle). A position-related forced posture of the child in late pregnancy is discussed as a possible cause.

How is the diagnosis made?

In order to be able to make a diagnosis, the doctor asks about previous illnesses in the anamnesis, examines the feet closely and carries out a gait analysis in older children, adolescents and adults. Children with sickle feet can be monitored by repeatedly making copies of the sole of the foot with a photocopier. X-rays and, if necessary, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRT) and computed tomography (CT) can be used to assess misalignments or subsequent joint, ligament and bone damage.

Note Sickle feet can occur together with hip dysplasia. An ultrasound examination of the hip joints to rule out this malformation is carried out as part of the mother-child pass examinations within the first few weeks after the birth. If sickle feet are diagnosed and this examination has not yet been carried out, it will be done.

What are the symptoms?

Misaligned feet such as a sickle foot can cause joint damage to the foot and difficulty walking, as well as an imbalance of muscles and joints throughout the body. The possible consequences can be pain, muscle, joint and, subsequently, bone damage.

How is the sickle foot treated?

If the backs of the feet do not touch the surface when sleeping in the prone position, they will not be forced into this misalignment. Children who sleep a lot on their stomach can have their feet raised a little. Foam rings, for example, can be attached to the ankles for this purpose.

Not every sickle foot needs treatment. This misalignment often regresses by itself. For the treatment options, it is crucial whether the deformity is so mobile (flexible) that it can be reversed without surgery. This is not possible with a very rigid (rigid) misalignment.

As a first step in treatment, the doctor brings the foot into the normal position (manual redression) and fixes it with a cast. A splint and an insert can then be adjusted. If necessary, with the serpentine foot, certain joint capsules that connect the metatarsal bones can be widened or parts of the metatarsal bones removed (osteotomy).

Whom can I ask?

If you have problems with your feet, you can contact a specialist in orthopedics. The pediatrician is usually the first point of contact for children with malpositions of their feet. If necessary, he / she can issue a referral to a specialist in pediatric orthopedics.

How are the costs going to be covered?

All necessary and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures are taken over by the health insurance carriers. Your doctor or the outpatient clinic will generally settle accounts directly with your health insurance provider. With certain health insurance providers, however, you may have to pay a deductible (BVAEB, SVS, SVS, BVAEB).

However, you can also use a doctor of your choice (ie doctor without a health insurance contract) or a private outpatient clinic. For more information, see Costs and Deductibles.

Medical aids and aids such as orthopedic insoles must be prescribed by the doctor and in some cases approved by the responsible health insurance company. A contribution (deductible) is provided for by the insured person. You can find more information under The Way to Medical Aids & Aids.

When hospitalization is necessary

If a hospital stay is required, the hospital costs will be invoiced. The patient has to pay a daily contribution to the costs. Further medication treatment at home takes place by prescription from the general practitioner or specialist. For more information, see What does a hospital stay cost?