It’s not uncommon for some children to have orthopedic issues that cause them to walk with an awkward gait or create pain in their joints.
One of the most common orthopedic problems that a lot of small children experience before their adolescent years is genu valgum, or knock-knees as it is commonly called.
What Exactly Are Knock Knees
Knock knees is where the lower legs bend inward until the knees begin touching, and the ankles remain spread apart.
Children between the ages of 2 to 7 are the ones that are most likely to develop this lower leg deformity.
Normally, the knock knee deformity will correct itself by the time the child reaches 7 ot 8 years old.
If the genu valgum doesn’t straighten out on its own by the age of 8 it may mean there’s an underlying problem causing the inward curve, My Knock Knee Fix explains.
What Are The Underlying Causes of Knocked Knees
In order to correct knock knees you have to identify and treat the underlying cause.
Some of the most common underlying causes of child knock knees include:
Skeletal dysplasia is a genetical disorder that attacks bone development, and inhibits cartilage growth.
Rickets is a metabolic bone disorder that affects mainly children who aren’t getting enough vitamin D in their daily diet.
When this disease takes affect it begins to soften and create abnormalities in the bones that often causes the development of knock knees and bowlegs.
Any type of injuries that causes a fracture in or around the knees for example can lead to the development of knock knees in some children.
Any one of these underlying causes can be the reason your child is knock kneed.
Diagnosis of Child Knock Knees
In order to be certain which underlying problem is causing your child’s knock knees it’s a good idea to see an experienced orthopedic doctor.
To determine the cause of knock knees in a child the doctor will do one or more of the following diganostic tests:
One of the first things your child’s doctor will do to determine the cause of knock knees is to check his or her leg position.
Another method some doctors may use to diagnose your child’s knock knees is to use a tool to measure the distance between the ankle bones of your child.
Finally, other than examining the position of your child’s legs and their gait, the doctor may request an X-ray examination. The X-ray will show the doctor images of your legs from the ankles up to the hips. This allows the doctor to know exactly where the inward curve begins in the legs so they have a better idea of what’s causing the deformity.
Knock Knees Treatment in Children
When it comes to treatment for knock knees in children it may be best to wait until they child has at least reached the age of 7 first.
However, if your child’s knock knees doesn’t improve by age 7 it’s a good idea to start looking at ways to treat and straighten their knock knees.
A few of the best child knock knees treatments include:
Orthotics are special types of shoes that are inserted into the child’s shoes to help with supporting flat feet, which in turn can help their legs straighten up.
Your child’s doctor will determine whether or not orthotics can help fix their knock knees after performing the diagnosis.
Knee braces are another option when it comes to child knock knees treatment.
Braces help by holding the child’s knees in a straighter position until they are conditioned to remain straightened, and not turn inward.
Your doctor will prescribe a customized knee brace just for your child’s knock knee condition.
Knock knee exercises can also help straighten the inward curve around the knees in some children.
A few of the most commonly used exercises or stretches to correct knock knees in children include:
- Single-Leg Band Stretches
Once again, whether or not these exercises can help correct knock knees in your child’s case will depend on the results from the diagnosis by the doctor.
In order for knock knees exercises to work they have to be performed regularly each day.
Guided growth surgery is the number one surgery procedure for small children dealing with knock knees.
This is because this surgery is tailor made for children whose bones haven’t fully developed yet.
An instrument is inserted in the child’s leg to hold the leg in place while the other leg catches up, which should cause the appearance of the legs to straighten up.
Once the child’s knock knees has been corrected the orthopedic surgeon will remove the instrument in his or her legs.
This knock knee surgery can cost thousands of dollars with or without insurance so it’s often a last resort if all else fails.
Moreover, this surgical procedure won’t be performed on a child until he or she reaches at least 8 years old.
These are some of the best treatments for child knock knees.
Remember that most small children will develop knock knees between the ages of 2 to 7 but will eventually grow out of it without treatment.
With that being said, give your child’s knock knees or bowlegs to correct itself without any interference.