Genu valgum is the medical term for "knock knees." Genu Valgum is a condition where the knees angle in and touch each other when the legs are straight. When this is severe, you cannot touch your feet together with the legs straight. There is an inward curve of both femur and tibia. The femur is the large bone in your thigh. The tibia is the large bone in the lower leg.
Mild genu valgum is fairly common in children up to 2 years of age. Usually the legs gradually straighten as children grow and develop. Sometimes the condition may continue or get worse with age. This is more likely if other diseases, such as rickets or obesity, are involved. Sometimes the cause is not known.
Long standing injuries and arthritis of the knee generally come earlier in life. Chondromalacia or softening of the cartilage of the knee is another possible problem.
The main cause of genu valgum is rickets and obesity. It can also be caused by bone problems, infections, tumors, and injury.
Genu valgum can be diagnosed through the results of X-ray exams and physical exams.
The treatment of genu valgum will depend on the cause. When rickets are the cause, it must be treated. Children who are treated for rickets must not be placed on their legs early in treatment. Surgery for genu valgum is often the only treatment after childhood.