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Home  Medicine articles  Genu valgum

   Genu valgum

Genu valgum is commonly referred to as knock knees, a condition where the knees angle in and touch when the legs are straightened. Persons with severe valgus deformities are typically unable to touch their feet together while simultaneously straightening the legs.

Mild genu valgum is relatively common in children up to two years of age, and is often corrected naturally as children grow and develop. However, the condition may continue or worsen with age, particularly when it is the result of a disease, such as rickets or obesity. Idiopathic is the term used to describe genu valgum that is congenital or has no known cause.

If the condition persists or worsens into late childhood and adulthood, a corrective osteotomy may be recommended to straighten the legs.

In addition to cosmetic concerns, adults with uncorrected genu valgum are typically prone to injury and chronic knee problems such as chondromalacia and osteoarthritis. In some cases, total knee replacement (TKR) surgery may be required later in life to relieve pain and complications resulting from severe genu valgum.

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