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Knock Knees (genu valgum)

Xray scan of patient with knock knees (genu valgum).Knock Knees is often a normal variation of leg appearance in the toddler, preschooler, and early school age child. The legs turn inward, causing the knees to appear as if they are touching while the ankles remain apart. Genu valgum will look most severe at around age 3 and usually resolves on its own by age 8. 

Clinical Findings

While standing, the child’s knees will touch or be closer together than the ankles which are further apart.

Diagnostic Studies

X-rays or other imaging studies are not required in order to diagnosis physiologic genu valgum.

Treatment

We do not recommend special braces, shoes, or other orthotic devices. These have not been found to improve or speed up the resolution of knock-knees. Time and normal growth and development is the only treatment for genu valgum. 

The majority of children with genu valgum resolve on their own but if the knock-knees increase in severity or does not improve by age 10, then further evaluation and testing may be warranted.