Knock knees

Alternative Names

Genu valgum

Definition of Knock knees

Knock knees is a condition in which the knees touch, but the ankles do not touch. The legs angle inward.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Infants start out with bowlegs because of their folded position in the uterus. The infant’s bowlegs 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.

Signs and tests

If a doctor’s examination and review of the child’s medical history indicate a specific cause for the knock knees other than normal development, your health care provider will order the appropriate studies.

Treatment

Knock knees are usually not treated.

Expectations (prognosis)

Children normally outgrow knock knees without treatment, unless it is caused by a disease. For cases needing surgery, the procedure provides good cosmetic results.

Review

Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/12/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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