Correcting Knock Knees In Children
What Causes Knee Valgus
a) Functional cause
Tight and/or weak muscles in the leg can result in the Knee valgus appearance.
I have listed all of the knee valgus exercises in the sections below to address this issue.
Physical changes to the bone and/or joints can result in Knee Valgus.
This may be related to:
- Genetic factors
Note: The following exercises are designed to show you how to fix knock knee in the standing position. If your knees tend to collapse inwards when your knees are bent, you will need do the exercises in the specific position and at the load in which your knee starts to collapse inwards.
Exercise For Knock Knees In Yoga
Believe it or not, there are a number of yoga pose variations you can use to strengthen weak muscles and stretch out tight muscles that could be responsible for your knees knocking.
When it comes to yoga for knock knees one of the best poses you can begin practicing is the Warrior 2 pose.
This yoga exercise helps fix your knock knees by stretching tight adductors, and strengthening weak glutes and external rotators that could be the reason your knee collapses inward.
All of these muscle groups the Warrior 2 pose targets can play a role in you being knock kneed.
To do the Warrior II pose do the following:
For a great demonstration on how to properly perform this Warrior II pose check out this video below:
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What Is The Ilizarov
The Ilizarov-Veklich device, modified for deformities correction treatment, is made from titanium. It has unique small triangle shape that allows the patient to move and feel comfortable during the knock knees treatment. The device is very light in weight. It is also easy to take off when the treatment of knock knees is over. It also leaves minimal/no scarring as well . The work on different types of Ilizarov-Veklich devices, invented by Dr. Veklich allows him to address different types of problems and improve his techniques. The same type of triangle-shaped titanium modification of Ilizarov-Veklich device is used for Bow Legs Correction or genu varum correction.
How Is Knock Knees Diagnosed
On physical appearance, with the patient standing upright, the knees touch each other, but there is a wide space between the ankles. The best way to diagnose knock knees is by taking a standing X-ray, and drawing the straight line on the image from the hip to the ankle. If that line passes to the outside of the knee, there is genu valgum present. Additional diagnostic lines can be drawn to determine if the source of the angular deviation is coming from the femur or the tibia .
When looking at childrens X-rays, we also pay attention to the quality of the bone and the width of the growth plates. Children with nutritional vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D-resistant rickets , or with kidney failure, for example, have widened, irregular growth plates and can present with genu valgum. In children where vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D-resistant rickets, or kidney failure are suspected as the cause of knock knees, additional blood tests can be done to specifically look for those issues.
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Growth And Development In Children
A common concern for parents, bowlegs and knock-knees are primarily due to the childs normal growth and development. However, only a very small number of children need treatment. Understanding how a childs legs change as they grow is important in understanding these conditions.
During growth, the majority of children normally go through a period of being relatively bowlegged or knock-kneed. Physiologic bowlegs and knock-knees will not affect a childs ability to crawl, walk, run or play. Some children may walk with their toes pointed in, trip more or appear clumsier than other children their age, and, children at the extremes of the normal growth curve may have bowlegs or knock-knees that often look severe. However, these are symptoms of bowlegs and knock-knees seen in most children, which the child will typically outgrow.
The following is the normal growth and development for children, from infancy to the age of 10:
- From infancy to 18 months, a childs legs are initially bowlegged , causing toddlers to often walk with their feet wide apart.
- When the child is between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 years, the legs have usually straightened.
- Finally, by age 8 to 10 years, the childs legs have settled in to what will likely be their adult alignment.
What Are The Symptoms Of Knock Knees
Knock knees are a normal part of development and may not cause any symptoms. However, if they persist beyond a particular age, they may cause discomfort and pain in the legs.
If knocked knees is due to a medical cause and results in deformity, there may be difficulty in walking. Pain and resultant changes in gait, awkward walking may be noticed. Changes in normal posture may also affect other joints and cause pain and difficulty in movement.
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Knee Braces & Orthotics
Some doctors will suggest that patients with knock knees try a knee brace to help alleviate some of the issues associated with the condition. While you can buy knee braces over the counter at many pharmacies, its generally best to discuss your options with a specialist physician first.
Another treatment option for some adults with mild knee valgus is orthotics. This is particularly useful for some adults whose knee valgus is caused by osteoarthritis. While orthotics are also available over the counter , its usually best to first consult with a podiatrist or orthopedist about custom options.
What Is The Outlook For Genu Valgum
In the vast majority of cases, parents can expect that a childs genu valgum will resolve by age 8.
For older children and adults with genu valgum, a course of physical therapy and exercises can help realign their knees. It can also strengthen surrounding muscles and avoid stress damage to other joints.
If these efforts arent successful, surgery may be performed to realign your knees.
In time, untreated knee misalignment can cause pain and problems in functioning. One
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Can Knock Knees Be Corrected In Adults By Exercise
Whether or not exercises and stretching can help treat knock knees in adults depends on the cause.
Knock knees are a normal part of the growing up process for some kids.
In fact, a lot of toddlers have knock knees when theyre first born and as they get older the deformity corrects itself without interference.
However, if a child hasnt grown out of their knock knees phase by the time they reach the age of 8 or 10 it may be time to see a doctor and get a diagnosis.
What Are The Causes Of Knock Knees
Knock knee is fairly common among toddlers and preschool children. It is in fact a physiological variation in development and growth of lower leg bones, which after a period of time will get corrected naturally. Knock knees correct themselves by the time the child attains the age of 7 or 8 years.
In some cases the condition can still persist above the age of 8 years. In children above the age of 7, if the distance between the ankles remains more than 4 inches when the knees remain touched in standing position, it can be due to underlying health issue.
- A child suffering from rickets may have knock knee problem. Rickets is a bone disorder which develops in childhood due to lack of vitamin D.
- Scury is nowadays rare, but previously it was considered to be a cause of knock knee. Deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy.
- Genetic disorder and hereditary bone deformities can also cause knock knees.
- Adults can develop knock knee after suffering from fracture of shin bone. A mal united shin bone can cause one sided knock knee deformity.
- Obese people tend to suffer from this condition.
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in adults can cause this bony deformity in adulthood.
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When To Get Medical Advice
Knock knees in children aren’t usually a cause for concern and should improve as your child gets older.
However, visit your GP if:
- the gap between the ankles is greater than 8cm while standing with the knees together
- there’s a big difference between the angle of the lower legs when standing compared with the upper legs
- the problem seems to be getting worse
- a child under the age of 2 or over the age of 7 has knock knees
- only one leg is affected
- there are other symptoms, such as knee pain or difficulty walking
- you have any other concerns about the way your child stands or walks
- you develop knock knees in adulthood
Your GP will examine your or your child’s legs, ask about any pain or walking difficulties, and may take some measurements.
Knock Knee Brace Price
Orthotics for knock knees such as a knee brace for valgus deformity can cost a lot of money if you pay for the whole thing out of your own pocket.
This hefty price tag is because a good valgus knee brace to correct knock knees in adults is usually custom-made to meet your specific needs.
However, if you have the right health insurance it will cover most if not all of the costs for a good knee brace.
The knock knee braces cost for valgus knee can cost you about $2,400 for the full set up.
Of course, there are cheaper knee braces that work for knock knees out there if your insurance isnt covering it.
If you want to buy knock knee braces at affordable price ask your healthcare provider for brands or styles that that fit more into your budget.
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How To Fix Knock Knees In Children
Our main goals in treating this condition are to align your limbs normally, stop the progression of knock knees, and reduce the risk of degeneration in your joints. Children may present with knock knees in their toddler years, but they often grow out of the condition with time. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In pediatric cases where the child has irregular X-rays or blood test results, we will recommend special treatment.
If the inverted knees are the result of nutritional deficiencies, we often recommend supplements or replacements to correct the problem. When this proves unsuccessful in straightening the legs, we may discuss surgical correction. In children who are still growing, we perform minimally invasive surgeries which correct the growth of the legs. Over a period of 6 to 18 months, the growth of the legs is corrected with the help of staples, plates, or screws along the growth plates. Most times, we recommend minimal physical therapy at our Frisco and Dallas locations after surgery.
Knock Knee Correction Shoes
There are also knock knee correction shoes that help fix your gait and align your knees properly so that any pressure or strain on the joints due to your knocked knee can be relieved.
You also have orthotics, which are corrective orthopedic inserts that can be inserted into any shoe and help relieve excess pressure on your knees, ankles, and feet.
For those who want to know how to fix knock knees without surgery, you may not be able to completely get rid of a child or an adults genu valgum by wearing corrective shoes or inserts but at the very least you can drastically improve the way you walk and reduce the pain due to your knock knees.
The best type of corrective shoes for knock knees will have great arch support so that your feet have a better chance at being properly aligned while you wear them.
Also, optimal ankle support is important so you can control the alignment of your heel and lower leg. Youll also want to make sure the shoe has enough space on the inside so that you can insert an orthotic if you need added knee alignment effectiveness.
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Surgery To Correct Knock Knees
In severe forms of knock knees that persist till adulthood or when there is an underlying medical problem, surgical correction of Genu Valgum may be considered.
Corrective surgery for Knock Knees or Genu Valgum includes
- Guided growth, in which a small plate is placed in the knee to correct the growth of the knees. This is performed in growing children during their teens.
- Another procedure called osteotomy, may be considered. In this the leg bone is operated and realigned to promote correction of the angle at knee and equal weight bearing.
Surgical correction for Knock Knee or Genu Valgum often offers good results and is followed by physiotherapy. Medical advice regarding post-surgical care, use of splint and other measures should be followed. Knee mobilization, strengthening and balancing exercises, training for correct standing, walking and weight bearing postures is done for effective healing and recovery.
What Causes Knock Knees In Adulthood
The most common cause for knock knees in adults is usually an underlying condition such as:
- The pelvic muscles.
All of these muscles work together to keep your knees stabilized and aligned properly.
However, if you want to fix your knock-kneed appearance the main muscles you need to focus on strengthening are your hip abductors, hip adductors, and hip flexors.
If these muscles become too weak or tight over time they can lead to a misalignment of the knee by causing your femur to rotate inward.
Exercises To Correct Knock Knee
Knock Knee or Genu Valgum of mild degree can be corrected by strengthening exercises, which help to realign and stabilize the knees. Perform these exercises in 10 repetitions for each leg and gradually with weights.
Corrective Exercise for Knock Knee #1: Straight Leg Raises For muscles in front of thigh.
- Sit on a chair with feet touching the floor. Straighten one leg by raising it, hold and then release.
- Lie on the back. Raise one leg at a time with knees straight, hold and bring it down.
Corrective Exercise for Knock Knee #2: Knee Bends For muscles at the back of thigh.
- Stand and bend one leg from behind and try to touch the feet to the hips.
- Perform the same exercise when lying down on stomach.
Further half squats, step-ups, therapeutic ball and pool exercises also help and should be performed under the guidance of an expert.
More On Treating Knock Knee
Generally, most children with knock knee become fine without any treatment as they grow. But a little care and precaution taken when they are young helps a lot.
At times, knock knees may be caused by issues like scurvy or rickets, so the first job is to treat the underlying condition. Rickets is caused by lack of vitamin D. A daily dose of vitamin D should be taken. At times, a vitamin D injection is administered once a year. Also eat a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium.
When nothing works, surgery can be performed for knock knee correction. But surgery is only recommended if:
- The gap between the boy’s or girl’s ankles is more than 10 cm.
- The child has difficulty in walking.
- The lower legs of the child are curved, which can cause a lot of knee pain.
The surgery may be of 2 types:
- Guided growth: With this method, a small plate is placed inside the knee. It gradually corrects the growth of the knee over a period of 6 months to 1 year. This surgery is generally preferred for rapidly growing children up to the ages 14-16.
- Osteotomy: Osteotomy is a type of knock knee correction procedure where the leg bone is cut and realigned to correct the angle of the knee. The surgery is performed on one leg at a time under general anesthesia. Just above the knee joint, the lower portion of femur is cut and a small portion of bone is removed. Then the leg is realigned to create a straighter position. The bone is fixed in its new position by a plate and screws.
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