Have you ever heard about genu valgum (a.k.a) knee valgus? It is another name for knocked knees that features an angled-out knee joint. Therefore, this lower leg deformity shifts your knee inwards. So, if you have knock-knees and stand up, your knees will be at least 3 inches apart. This condition affects young beings and improves with age. So, it is a cause of concern. Hence, this article will highlight knee valgus: signs & symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
According to Boston Children’s Hospital, that is approx. In 99% of the cases, knock-knee heals when kids reach eight years of age. However, there is a chance that this condition develops later in life due to knee injury, infection, vitamin D and calcium deficiency, overweight, and osteoarthritis. As you cannot touch your ankles when knees get together, the misaligned legs place extra pressure on the knee joint that leads to pain and discomfort. However, if it occurs at a later age, it may trigger secondary issues along.
Though you cannot prevent this condition, you can try to diminish its effects. Physiotherapy and workout is a usually better substitute for knee surgery.
What are the Types of Knock Knees?
The most familiar form is a physiologic variant
Former shaft fracture of the proximal tibia
A bone and cartilage ailment that affects ends of leg bones
These knee deformities may cause pain, discomfort and hinder proper walking. Besides, it may make you self-conscious about your appearance.
What is the Anatomy?
If you analyze the knee's anatomy, the average physiologic procedure of knock misalignment starts at the age of 3 to 4 years in a child. The kid is likely to experience 20 degrees of knee deformity. However, this condition hardly deteriorates when the child crosses the age of 7 years. So, after seven years, the knee deformity should not be greater than 12 degrees. At the same time, the intermalleolar distance is likely to be less than 8 cm.
What are the Causes?
Did you know that genetics is the leading cause of valgus deformity? But, at the same time, there can be other reasons too. So, if you have inherited this condition, both your legs will be titled with angle. Besides genetics, an injury, deficiency, obesity, or arthritis can also cause this leg deformity.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
So, if you have this disorder, you are likely to experience joint toughness, knee pain, floppy or unstable gait. In addition, the extra pressure on the muscles and tendons can trigger pain in your ankles, hips, and feet with time. In contrast, your unstable condition may make you more vulnerable to falling.
Knee valgus features leg length discrepancy, which further hampers normal walking. So, if you feel your knees are misaligned and you feel pain, it is always good to visit a consultant for recommendations.
The earlier you start the treatment, the greater is the chance for improvement and control of pain. Besides, extra stress on the knees places you at risk of developing osteoarthritis as you age. So, a physician can help you with all the risks.
How to Diagnose?
If you develop knee valgus in teenage or adulthood, it is necessary to investigate any underlying causes. So, for this, you may need a doctor’s help. Usually, doctors suspect a bone disorder or osteoarthritis. Hence, to treat the knock-knee, your doctor may first deal with the underlying problem.
So, when you visit a doctor, they may inquire about your family’s medical history and your pain intensity. So, if you suffer from pain, they would want to know the exact location of your pain.
For this, the doctor is likely to examine you and observe how you stand and walk physically. Besides, they will also evaluate the inequality of your leg length, your knee misalignment, uneven wear on shoe soles. And sometimes, they may ask for imaging tests (like x-ray or MRI) to confirm the cause after a detailed examination of your bone structure.
What is the Treatment?
Physical Therapy and Weight Management
The primary treatment for knock-knee comprises anti-inflammatories to manage pain. However, if your condition is not due to genetics, physiotherapy is ideal for improving your situation. Exercises may help you achieve right knee and leg alignment, which will result in gait improvement, knee stability, and muscle strengthening. Besides, if your condition is due to any deficiency or overweight, your doctor may prescribe you a vitamin D supplement or weight management plan to improve your primary condition.
On the contrary, if your condition is severe, your doctor may recommend a more drastic treatment, i.e., knee replacement surgery. This treatment is generally common in people aged 50 years and above. A surgical procedure can amend knock-knee deformity or osteoarthritis that has affected your knee joint.
However, the doctor may recommend osteotomy surgery in younger patients that involves cutting the thigh bone to realign the knee and improve the positioning. Unfortunately, it takes almost a year to recover from surgery fully. The reason is the intrusiveness of the operation, pain, and recovery period. So doctors prefer other treatments before they recommend surgery.
Adjustable Orthotic Insoles
Apart from this, Adjustable Orthotic Insoles is another popular treatment for this condition. It is adaptable pad support that kicks the foot arch as you move. According to a study by Quinnipiac University, this treatment delivers up to 89% greater arch support. Hence, it is ideal to allow continual misalignment correction that is the primary source of pain in the legs, feet, hip, spine, and ankles.
This spring-like structure that resembles ligaments is naturally present in your feet. So, there are three adjustable improvements, and the price is almost one-third of the custom orthotics. Moreover, when you compare it to the gel and foam insoles, those only last for 15 days. However, orthotic insoles last for months and feature a 60-day money-back guarantee.
So, considering your condition and the severity of the deformity, your doctor can be your ultimate partner in recommending the best treatment. So, before you risk surgical possibilities, it is always better to discuss the orthotic option with your do