Genu valgum (GEE-noo VAL-gum) is a condition
in which the upper legs angle inward and the knees touch while the ankles are spread
More to Know
Genu valgum is a common condition in children and is almost always a normal part
of a child's development. Because
of the way their bodies are positioned in the uterus, most babies are born bowlegged
and stay that way until about age 2 or 3. After that, their legs turn inward and take
on a knock-kneed appearance until they're about 7 or 8 years old. At that time, the
legs generally assume their normal alignment. In rare cases, genu valgum that develops
later (at around age 6) can be a sign of an underlying bone disease.
Treatment for genu valgum is almost never required as the legs usually straighten
out on their own. Severe knock-knees or knock-knees that are more pronounced on one
side sometimes require treatment with braces that straighten the legs. Surgery to
correct genu valgum is usually only done if the condition is severe and causes pain
or difficulty walking.
Keep in Mind
In just about every case, genu valgum is a harmless condition that will eventually
clear up on its own. When treatment is necessary, the results usually are very good
and the condition is corrected with no long-term issues to worry about.
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