|Knock Knees or Genu valgum|
Knock knee is a condition in which the knees touch, but the ankles do not touch. The medical term for knock knee is genu valgum, it causes the knees to turn inward and touch either while standing straight. The legs turn inward.
Genu valgum is common among small children around the ages of 2 to 4 and will sometimes last up until the child is 8 years old where he or she will have grown out of it.
Causes of Knock Knees
Infants start out with bowlegs because of their folded position while in their mother's womb. The legs begin to straighten once the child starts to walk (at about 12 to 18 months). By age 3, the child becomes knock-kneed. When the child stands, the knees touch but the ankles are apart.
By puberty, the legs straighten out and most children can stand with the knees and ankles touching (without forcing the position).
However, if this condition doesn't develop until the child reaches 6 years old or older, or if the child still has knock knees during their adulthood then it may be a sign of a more serious problem and knock knee correction should be mandatory.
People who enter their adolescents/adulthood with knock knees will want to correct the problem even if they don't feel any pain because they feel awkward when they stand or walk.
|Genu valgum or Knock Knees|
They will have an unnatural gait due to their knees rubbing against one another, which can have a negative impact on their self-esteem/confidence in social settings.
Other than an embarrassing gait, knock kneed adults are much more injury prone than those who are not. As you can imagine playing sports and participating in certain activities would put a person who has knock knees at great risk of injuring themselves.
Some of the signs to look out for that could indicate a more serious underlying problem include:
• Extreme curvature
• Just one side is affected
• The problem doesn't go away after age 8.
• Your child is unusually short for his or her age.
Knock knees can develop as a result of a medical problem or disease, such as:
• Injury of the shinbone (only one leg will be knock-kneed)
• Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
• Overweight or obesity
• Rickets (a disease caused by a lack of vitamin D, phosphate, and calcium)
• Osteoarthritis - Different types of arthritis can affect a person's knee joint and lead to the development of knock knees.
• Blount's Disease - Blount's disease is a condition that causes abnormal growth in the lower leg bone called the tibia or shin bone.
• Scurvy - Scurvy is another condition that can cause knock knees. This condition is the result of vitamin C deficiency.
|Knock Knees or Genu valgum on Xray|
Exams and Tests
A health care provider will examine your child. Tests will be done if there are signs that knock knees are not a part of normal development.
Treatment of Knock Knees
Knock knees are not treated in most cases.
If the problem continues after age 7, the child may use a night brace. This brace is attached to a shoe.
Surgery may be considered for knock knees that are severe and continue beyond late childhood.
Outlook (Prognosis) for Knock Knees
Children normally outgrow knock knees without treatment, unless it is caused by a disease.
If surgery is needed, the results are most often good.
Possible Complications of Knock Knees
Complications may include:
• Difficulty walking (very rare)
• Self-esteem changes related to cosmetic appearance of knock knees
• If left untreated, knock knees can lead to early arthritis of the knee
• When to Contact a Medical Professional
• Call your provider if you think your child has knock knees.
Prevention of Knock Knees
There is no known prevention for normal knock knees.