Knock Knees

Also known as: genu valgum

What are knock knees?

When a child’s legs are bent inward at the knee (the opposite of bowlegs), this condition is known as knock knees, or genu valgum.

What causes knock knees?
The precise cause of knock knees is not always clear. Often, children will develop some degree of knock knees during the first 3-4 years of growth as part of normal growth and development.  This form of knock knees will often go away spontaneously. Others may develop it as part of another bone disease, as a result of an injury or infection, or for other reasons.

What are the symptoms of knock knees?
Other than the physical symptoms of the knees touching while the ankles do not, other signs of knock knees include difficulty walking or an unusual walking pattern. Pain is a rare symptom of knock knees in children and adolescents.

What are knock knees care options?
Some cases of knock knees resolve on their own and observation for several years may be indicated, especially in young children. Other cases may require a small outpatient surgery to modulate growth, and some cases may require more extensive surgery to realign the bone.  

Reviewed by: Scott J Schoenleber, MD

This page was last updated on: 8/7/2018 9:37:29 AM

From the Newsdesk

April Patient of the Month: Lucky
Lucky started going to physical therapy when he was two because of the delays with sitting up and rolling over. His physical therapist noticed that the problem was not muscular but skeletal, a condition that she couldn't treat. The pediatrician told Janie and Greg, Lucky’s parents, about Nicklaus Children's Hospital. When Janie and Greg visited Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, they met Dr. Harry L Shufflebarger, Pediatric Spinal Surgery Director. He performed the necessary surgeries and now Lucky can enjoy a healthy life.
April Patient of the Month: Lucky
Lucky started going to physical therapy when he was two because of the delays with sitting up and rolling over. His physical therapist noticed that the problem was not muscular but skeletal, a condition that she couldn't treat. The pediatrician told Janie and Greg, Lucky’s parents, about Nicklaus Children's Hospital. When Janie and Greg visited Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, they met Dr. Harry L Shufflebarger, Pediatric Spinal Surgery Director. He performed the necessary surgeries and now Lucky can enjoy a healthy life.

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Annie Casta, MD of Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a pediatric orthopedist with the Orthopedic Surgery Program.