Learn About Knock Knees

What is the definition of Knock Knees?

Knock knees are condition in which the knees touch, but the ankles do not touch. The legs turn inward.

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What are the alternative names for Knock Knees?

Genu valgum

What are the causes of Knock Knees?

Infants start out with bowlegs because of their folded position while in their mother's womb. The legs begin to straighten once the child starts to walk (at about 12 to 18 months). By age 3, the child becomes knock-kneed. When the child stands, the knees touch but the ankles are apart.

By puberty, the legs straighten out and most children can stand with the knees and ankles touching (without forcing the position).

Knock knees can also develop as a result of a medical problem or disease, such as:

  • Injury of the shinbone (only one leg will be knock-kneed)
  • Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Rickets (a disease caused by a lack of vitamin D)
What are the current treatments for Knock Knees?

Knock knees are not treated in most cases.

If the problem continues after age 7, the child may use a night brace. This brace is attached to a shoe.

Surgery may be considered for knock knees that are severe and continue beyond late childhood.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Knock Knees?

Children normally outgrow knock knees without treatment, unless it is caused by a disease.

If surgery is needed, the results are most often good.

What are the possible complications of Knock Knees?

Complications may include:

  • Difficulty walking (very rare)
  • Self-esteem changes related to cosmetic appearance of knock knees
  • If left untreated, knock knees can lead to early arthritis of the knee
When should I contact a medical professional for Knock Knees?

Call your provider if you think your child has knock knees.

How do I prevent Knock Knees?

There is no known prevention for normal knock knees.

What are the latest Knock Knees Clinical Trials?
Effects of 8-weeks Systematic Corrective Exercise Program on Body Posture and Stability in Pronation Distortion Syndrome

Summary: Pronation distortion syndrome is a postural complexity of lower extremity which primarily involves hyper pronation of feet leading to other dysfunctional movement patterns throughout the kinetic chain and gait mechanics. Excessive foot pronation is followed by internal tibial rotation and adduction of knees forming knock knees. This lower extremity distortion pattern causes a chain reaction of mus...

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Prospective, Randomized, Single-blind, Multinational, Long-term Study for the Evaluation of the Clinical Outcome, Oxidation Profile and Wear Analysis of Medium Cross-linked Polyethylene With and Without Vitamin E for Total Knee Arthroplasty

Summary: Prospective, randomized, single-blind, multinational, long-term study for the evaluation of the clinical outcome, oxidation profile and wear analysis of medium cross-linked Polyethylene with and without Vitamin E for total knee arthroplasty

What are the Latest Advances for Knock Knees?
The rare reason of pain in hip girdle: Mucolipidosis type 3 gamma.
Medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction combined with biplanar supracondylar femoral derotation osteotomy in recurrent patellar dislocation with increased femoral internal torsion and genu valgum: a retrospective pilot study.
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Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: October 02, 2020
Published By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Deeney VF, Arnold J. Orthopedics. In: Zitelli, BJ, McIntire SC, Nowalk AJ, eds. Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 22.

Pomeranz AJ, Sabnis S, Busey SL, Kliegman RM. Bowlegs and knock-knees. In: Pomeranz AJ, Sabnis S, Busey SL, Kliegman RM, eds. Pediatric Decision-Making Strategies. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 49.

Winell JJ, Baldwin KD, Wells L. Torsional and angular deformities of the limb. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 695.