Knock Knees is referred to as ‘Genu Valgum,’ the condition of angular deformities present in knees. In this, deformed knees appear or point inward (towards each other), and ankles have a sizable gap of about 2 to 3 inches. Knock knee has been seen affecting 20% of 3 years olds; however, in most cases, it will naturally heal when the child gets young.
In the rarest of cases, the knock knees continue to stay till adolescence. In adults, the condition may occur due to deficiencies or any underlying disease. There is no way out to prevent ‘Genu Valgum’ before, but it can be treated if symptoms or causes were identified in time. Visit Knock Knee Surgeon in India to get a consultation today.
What causes knock knees?
Generally, Knock knees occur in the case of an early stage of neurological conditions such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy resulting in the altered muscle pull on the bones. This may also be considered the early signs of an underlying disorder that was left undetected or developing a chronic ailment.
Usually, poor mineralization leads to developing a bone disorder; one of the popular is ‘Rickets’ that may present through a large knee angle during childhood. In the case of pathological knock knees, child orthopedic will check if there is an existence of the combination with short stature and joint misalignment or other bone, then metabolic bone disorder or a skeletal; dysplasia may be the reason behind it.
The rapid development of obesity is also associated with knock knees, which can occur in adolescence or children having flat feet. However, few children and hypermobile (overly flexible) joints are at higher risk of developing knock knees in the future.
Other causes can be; Rickets (lack of calcium and Vitamin-D), Injury/Infection, and Genetic conditions.
What are the Symptoms of Knock Knees?
Symptoms of knock knees are clearly visible at the early stage; it includes the visual separation of ankles and joining of knees together. Even the child’s or individual gait will differ than normal, due to which other obstacles may add on as symptoms including;
- Excruciating pain in knees
- Limp when walking
- Lack of balance
- Pain in ankles, hips or feet
- Stiffness in joints.
There were few traditional methods or practices used in the form of modified shoes or implantation of braces. With time these methods are proven to be ineffective, especially in severe conditions of knock knees. Even any type of massage or diet does not help to correct knock knees. Medications relieve mild cases, but deformity is rare to be seen improved.
Surgery for Knock Knees
Generally, orthopedics will recommend going for surgical methods to rectify the deformity of knock knees (severe cases) that will bring relief to the child. Today, there are two main methods to perform surgical methods; Guided growth and Osteotomy.
- Guided Growth
In guided growth surgery, the surgeon will implant small metal devices that restrict the medial or inside part of the knee’s growth center. Due to which the lateral or outer part gets space to grow and correct (straighten) the position of the knee. Guided growth surgery aims to stop the growth on the curved side of the knee bone.
The surgery could be performed on the children when they are about to reach puberty years (11 to 13 years). According to child orthopedics, this is the best time for a child’s bone to straighten so that it gets sufficient time to recover for the rest of the growing years. Guided Growth is a simple/minimally invasive surgery that allows the patient to bear the weight of the body in real soon time and can perform day-to-day/ sports activities quickly.
While performing Osteotomy, a thin wedge of bone is removed from the required places of the leg bones to realign the knee’s position. The current part/ new position of the bone is fixed with the help of plates and screws and closed with a suture.
The surgeon will recommend an Osteotomy in severe conditions or when the growth is finished. Osteotomy is suitable for adults dealing with arthritis/ rheumatoid arthritis or young children. The patient may require to stay for 2-3 days in the hospital where he or she is guided to walk with crutches/walkers. Physical therapy is necessary to regain strength, and it will need 6 to 8 months for a full recovery, depending upon the aftercare.
Both surgery procedures for knock knees are safe and result in faster recovery in children than adults. In most cases of knock knees, there are more than 90% chances of self-correcting; that is why the long-term outlook of treatment is affirmative.