When your children are learning to walk it is a fun and exciting adventure. It can also be a little overwhelming as you learn to let go and let them do it on their own, stumbling and falling along the way. As your children continue to grow and go off on their own walking adventures, you may start noticing some differences in the way they stand or how their legs fit together. One fairly common sight in children under the age of around 6 or 7 is Genu Valgum, or what you know as knock knees. While in most cases of knock knees, the knees will eventually spread out further apart as your child matures. If you’re concerned with the way your child’s knees or legs are developing, here are some signs and knock knee treatments you should know about to make sure everything is developing as it should.
Symptoms of Knock Knees
Take a look at how your child stands. If you notice that when they stand with their knees together their ankles are much farther apart than they should be, this could be a sign of knock knees. If the angle their knees are turned inward is larger than a 15-degree angle, you should seek out a consultation. They may complain of pain or other problems with their knees as well. They may have difficulty walking on a regular basis, have one leg that is turned in more than the other, or instead of getting better the problem is getting worse.
Knock knees, Genu Valgum, is caused by a variety of things. Rickets, excessive weight such as in an obese person, or weak knee ligaments can all be culprits of this condition. There are ways to treat it if you get to your pediatric physician or your pediatric orthopedic doctor.
Typically, treatment for this condition does not take place unless the child is around 10 years old or older. That is because your child is still growing and the condition usually fixes itself with time. If there’s an underlying cause of the problem, then that will be treated first. Things such as losing weight if the problem is due to being overweight, strengthening ligaments, and getting in your Vitamin D and calcium if rickets is the cause, are just a few ways they can be treated.
As a general rule, surgery is the very last resort for knock knee treatments. There are two types generally used that include guided growth and an osteotomy. Both of these are held off as long as possible to help the child to develop normally.