Knock Knees

Knock knees, otherwise known as Genu-Valgum, usually appears as a large gap between the knees when your feet or ankles are placed together. While a small gap between a child’s knees is typical, a gap larger than 8cm (3 inches) can indicate Knock knees. 

The condition usually presents itself in children under the age of up to seven years old, but is usually noticeable from the age of four and can be considered a normal part of development. 

Your child’s legs should straighten during the growth process. However, if this does not happen, there may be an underlying health condition that may need further analysis.

Knock knees is a typical part of a child’s development and is most often corrected as bones and muscles mature. However, if the condition does not go away over time, there may be other factors causing Knock knees. These may be (but not limited to):

  • Excessive and sustained pressure on the knees as a result of repeated weight lifting, obesity, or loose knee muscles and ligaments
  • Rickets: a condition associated with a calcium and Vitamin D deficiency
  • Infection or trauma caused by the weakening of the knee bones
  • Genetic conditions such as joint hypermobility syndrome
  • Types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis

There are some noticeable symptoms of Knock knees such as:

  • A noticeable gap between the lower leg, from the knee to the ankle
  • A limp while walking
  • Knee pain
  • Difficulty walking

If your child’s legs are still developing, treatment is not necessary and there are no limitations on their activities. While Knock knees will very often correct naturally, if the condition persists, there are some treatments which can be applied, depending on the severity of the condition.

These treatments usually look at treating the underlying cause, which may be:

  • Rickets: Can be treated with Calcium and Vitamin D supplements
  • Arthritis: Leg braces and exercises can assist with mobility and reducing knee pain

There is also a surgical option for children who suffer from severe Knock knees:

  • Guided Growth surgery: Undertaken with a general anaesthetic, small metal plates and screws are placed on either side of the knee to slowly adjust the growth of the knee bones. Once the surgery is complete, children are encouraged to walk after a few days before returning to normal activities within a few weeks. These plates and screws will remain in the knee for approximately twelve months and then once removed, the knees should no longer be ‘knocked’. 

Our Footfocus Podiatry Approach

Our 5-step process is designed entirely for you and your ongoing foot health and general wellbeing:

Step 1: You talk, we listen. We want to get the fullest understanding possible of what issues you are experiencing, and how they might be related. No detail is too small.

Step 2: We’ll assess your foot and leg using a variety of diagnostic tools and techniques.

Step 3: Throughout the diagnostic process, we’ll let you see what’s happening and why, and explain our findings in simple, plain English.

Step 4: We start doing our job and getting you better. This might include multiple treatments and different techniques, so we will keep you informed every step of the way.

Step 5: We stay with you, supporting you through recovery and moving you into preventative foot care, keeping the spring in your step for years to come.

For treatment and advice on managing Knock knees or any other children’s foot condition, book an appointment today. 

For advice and support on how to prevent future impairments to your feet and complete health, book a Podiatry appointment with one of our friendly and experienced podiatrists. 

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