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March 2019

Question:

My son going to be four years old on May 9. I noticed that he has a problem with knock knees and his legs are not in proper shape. His knees touch each other when he walks. Being a father I am worried about my son legs. I read some articles that mentioned this could strengthen by age 6-7. Can you please advise, do I need to consult with a doctor or need to work with him on some exercises? Thanks!

- Deepak - India (Parent)

 

Answer:

Knock knees and bow legs can be a normal part of children’s growth and development.

When a child has knock knees, his/her knees touch together but the feet and ankles remain apart. This is also called genu valgum. Most people as adults have a slight degree of genu valgum.

Bow legs are the opposite condition - the child’s feet and ankles touch together but the knees are apart. This is called genu varum.

During the first two years of life, many children are bow legged. This begins to straighten out by age 2, but child may then develop knock knees from age 2-4. For most children, this knock kneedness straightens out again by age 6-7.

Severe knock knees (the feet are very far apart when the knees are together) and knock knees that do not improve by themselves may benefit from treatment.

If your child has mild knock knees, you may want to observe it as age 4 is when the knock knees usually look the worst. But, if the knock knees are very severe, cause pain or limp, or if you are very worried, it is a good idea to have the child checked out his doctor. Hope this helps!

- Jennifer Ty, MD



 

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