Stress fractures of the lateral metatarsal bones in metatarsus adductus foot deformity: A previously unrecognized association

Daphne J. Theodorou, Stavroula J. Theodorou, Robert D Boutin, Christine Chung, Evelyne Fliszar, Yousuke Kakitsubata, Donald Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective. To document a distinctive pattern of stress fractures in the lateral metatarsal bones of patients with metatarsus adductus foot deformity. Design and Patients. Conventional radiographs and available medical records were reviewed in 11 patients (6 women, 5 men; ages 25-61 years) with stress fractures of the lateral (fourth or fifth) metatarsal bones and metatarsus adductus. Evaluation included the number and location of fracture(s), forefoot adduction angle, and qualitative assessment of bone mineral density. Conditions that might predispose patients to metatarsal fractures, including direct trauma, osteoporosis, and neuropathic osteoarthropathy were also recorded. Results. A total of 22 stress fractures were demonstrated, 17 of which involved the lateral metatarsals. A solitary fracture was present in six patients, while multiple fractures were evident in five patients. The sites of involvement were the fifth metatarsal (n = 10), fourth metatarsal (n = 7), third metatarsal (n = 3), second metatarsal (n = 1), and first metatarsal (n = 1) bones. The locations of the stress fractures were in the proximal one-third of the metatarsal bones in 19 instances (86%) and in the middle one-third in three instances (14%). Forefoot adduction angle measured between 21°and 37°(normal range 8°-14°). Conclusion. Patients with metatarsus adductus may be at increased risk for stress fractures involving the lateral metatarsal bones, likely owing to the presence of altered biomechanics that place greater loads across the lateral aspect of the foot.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-684
Number of pages6
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Foot deformities
  • Metatarsal bones
  • Metatarsus adductus
  • Stress fractures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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