Blount’s Disease

Also known as: tibia vara, bowed legs

What is Blount’s disease?

Blount’s disease is a condition found in children that affects the growth plates around the knee. It causes children to have a bow-legged appearance and can occur in children under age 3 (infantile) or over the age of 10 (adolescent).

What causes Blount’s disease?

Blount’s disease occurs when an abnormal growth plate causes a progressive bowing deformity. The cause of Blount’s disease isn’t entirely clear. In some cases, it appears to run in families. Children who walk early (before 12 months) and adolescents who gain weight rapidly are also at a greater risk.

What are the symptoms of Blount’s disease?

The physical symptoms of Blount’s disease include bowing below the knee that affects one or both legs, a bend in the leg that looks like a “C” and feet that point inward rather than straight ahead. Children with Blount’s disease can also developer knee arthritis, joint and nerve damage or difficulty walking. Blount’s disease can worsen over time without proper treatment.

How can Blount’s disease affect children?

If Blount’s disease develops before the age of 3, it’s known as infantile Blount’s disease. When it develops after the age of 10, it’s called adolescent Blount’s disease.

What are Blount’s disease treatments?

Some cases of Blount’s disease in children under the age of 4 can be treated with bracing alone, but surgery is often needed in older children. Common procedures include guided growth and tibial osteotomy.

Reviewed by: Daniel K Ruggles, DO

This page was last updated on: August 03, 2023 12:01 PM