Causes of knock knees (genu valgum)
Knock knees are common in children under the age of 7 and are a natural part of childhood development. Knock knees usually peak at their worst around 3-4 years of age and are often worse in females. As the child grows knock knees will usually straighten.
Knock knees that persist into late childhood and adolescence are usually the result of genetics. Whilst knock knees that don’t improve or get worse with age usually have an underlying medical cause. Factors that can cause knock knees include:
- Rickets -a bone disease caused through a lack of vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus
- Injury or infection
- Obesity or excess pressure on the knees
Knock knees (genu valgum) diagnosis
Children’s knock knees are usually easily diagnosed visually by the parent and clinically by our Melbourne podiatrists, who are experts in children’s foot problems. In more severe cases referral for x-rays may be required to rule out other causes.
Flat feet are often associated with knock knees so you should always seek assessment with one our children’s podiatrists if you suspect knock knees in your child. Our podiatrists can tell you if your child’s knock knees are part of natural development or if treatment is required.
Podiatry treatment for knock knees (genu valgum)
The children’s podiatrists at Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics are experts in children’s foot problems including knock knees. Whilst knock knees are part of a child’s natural development, persistent or excessive knock knees will generally require intervention. Treatment is aimed at treating the underlying cause and any associated symptoms or problems like flat feet.
Treatment options at our Melbourne foot clinic include:
Children’s orthotics work by improving foot alignment and foot function. This reduces internal knee rotation, improves knee and lower leg alignment, and helps to reduce the knock knee deformity.
Referral for surgery is usually only required in the most severe cases of knock knees.
A children’s podiatrist is the best health professional to diagnose and treat knock knees or genu valgum.