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Knock Knees (Genu Valgum)

Knock Knees (Genu Valgum)

‘Knock knees’ describes the positioning of the knees where they turn in towards toward each other. This means that they’re prone to ‘knocking’ or brushing against each other during walking. This tends to affect children between the ages of 3 and 5 and can help maintain balance when developing their gait, balance and coordination.

This knee position is medically referred to as genu valgum.

What causes knock knees?

Knock knees are often a regular variation during the growth and development. When this knee position doesn’t develop until the age of 6 or persists after the age of 8, there may be an underlying condition such as rickets or osteomalacia. Contributing factors to the development of knock knees include:

  • Obesity
  • Loose ligaments at the knees Infection or injury to the knee or shin bone (tibia)
  • Conditions that affect bone development
  • Calcium or Vitamin D deficiency
  • A flat or pronated foot type
  • Poor external hip rotation (weak or inhibited gluteus region)

The Symptoms

Where knock knees present between the ages of 3 and 5 years:

  • The knees bend inward
  • When the knees are together, a significant gap between the ankles can be observed
  • One knee may turn inwards more than the other
  • Pain is not usually present

Where knock knees continue beyond the childhood years, symptoms may include:

  • Knee pain
  • Limping or altered walking patterns
  • Stiffness at the knee joint that increases the risk of early-onset arthritis

How are knock knees treated?

The majority of knock knees in young children resolve by the age of 6-7. If you are concerned about your child’s knee posture (or your own) come in for an assessment so we can help address the alignment issues with treatments that may include:

  • Exercise prescription (stretches and strengthening)
  • Gait awareness
  • Orthotic therapy
  • Footwear recommendations or modifications

After your assessment, we’ll create a tailored management plan based on the individual symptoms you’re experiencing and your activity goals.

Two weeks with Calcaneal Spur and finally got to see Doc. He sent me to Kevin @ Eleven and with One Appointment, he had me walking without Crutches. Yes! It still hurt. Did the Stretching, Rolling my Foot on a Spikey ball and Iced it occasionally. Return visit, after he had his Holiday, and I' am walking fine. They do NOT want to see me again, unless it deteriorates. Which it has not :-)
- Ivan CooKe