Knock Knee (“Genu Valgum”)


Knock Knee, also known as “genu valgum“, is a condition in which the knees angle in and touch each other when the legs are straightened. Individuals with severe valgus deformities are typically unable to touch their feet together while simultaneously straightening the legs.

Many young children have knock knees, which tend to be most obvious at around the age of four.
This is almost always just a normal part of their development, and their legs will normally straighten by the age of six or seven.
Slight knock knees can continue into adulthood, but this also isn’t usually anything to worry about unless it causes other problems.
However, knock knees can very occasionally be a sign of an underlying condition that requires treatment, especially if the condition develops in older children or adults, or doesn’t improve at all with age.

Knock knees don’t usually cause any other problems, although a few severe cases may cause knee pain, a limp or difficulty walking.
Knock knees that don’t improve on their own can also place your knees under extra pressure, which may increase your risk of developing arthritis.

Knock knees in children aren’t usually a cause for concern and should improve as your child gets older.

However, visit your Podiatrist if:

  • the gap between the ankles is greater than 8cm while standing with the knees together
  • there’s a big difference between the angle of the lower legs when standing compared with the upper legs
  • the problem seems to be getting worse
  • a child under the age of two or over the age of seven has knock knees
  • only one leg is affected
  • there are other symptoms, such as knee pain or difficulty walking
  • you have any other concerns about the way your child stands or walks
  • you develop knock knees in adulthood

Your Podiatrist will examine your or your child’s legs, ask about any pain or walking difficulties, and may take some measurements.
They may refer you to a surgeon (a specialist in bone and joint problems) and arrange an X-Ray of your legs and blood tests to check for underlying problems.

Podiatrists at TFAAC have vast experience in diagnosing and treating Knock Knees and typically this treatment is very successful but involves a multifactorial approach.

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