What Is Knock Knees? What Is Bowleggedness?
When you look at someone standing in front of you who is wearing shorts, you should observe something when they stand with feet together:
- The ankles should touch each other.
- The knees should touch each other.
- There is no space between the upper or lower legs.
But when someone has knock knees, also called genu valgum by the medical and health community, these things are found:
- Their ankles don’t touch each other.
- Their knees touch each other.
- The distance between the ankles and knees are different.
- It appears that the knees are knocking against each other.
Knock knees is a condition where those afflicted like to cover up their legs with jeans or pants so that no one sees them. They don’t want to be teased about them.
How Bowleggedness Looks
When someone has bowleggedness (also called genu varum), there’s a large diamond spaced shape of emptiness in between their legs when the ankles are next to each other. In severe cases the diamond takes on more of an appearance of a rounded bow.
In bowleggedness, the knees don’t knock against each other. They do cause embarrassment, though.
Why Do Knock Knees Develop In The First Place?
The fact is that no one should be teasing people with knock knees because every one of us had knock knees as a child.
It’s part of the normal development of the skeleton, and if you look around, you will find that most children are knock kneed, even though it may be slight, by the age of 2 or 3 years old. The ankles don’t touch when their knees touch.
Scientists think it has to do with the normal fetal position in the womb and also with normal growth and development.
Because little kids start becoming active, running, cycling, walking, sprinting, and everything else little kids do, their muscles start developing so that the ankles eventually are together by the age of 5 or 6.
When Is Knock Knees Serious?
Doctors aren’t too concerned with knock knees, unless it persists past the age of 6. Many times they will send the patient home without knock knees treatment.
If the condition persists past the age of 6, it’s entirely possible that other conditions may be underlying the knock knees. Here are a few of them:
• Rickets, A Vitamin D Deficiency
This condition may be entirely possible, even though vitamin D has been added to milk. Health practitioners are discovering that up to 75% of the population is vitamin D deficient, and that includes moms who are pregnant. The small amount added to milk isn’t enough to keep the deficiency away.
Rickets is usually seen in skeletal deformities, with the classic sign where the legs bow out like a person is riding a horse.
• Infection Of The Bone, Or Osteomyelitis
No one knows for sure how these bone infections really start. It seems difficult to get a wound in your bone when there’s no trauma to the surrounding flesh.
Most likely, the cause of the bone infection is a depressed immune system that allows another microorganism that already is in the body causing infection to travel to the bone where it sets up an infection.
Osteomyelitis is a pretty serious condition that needs medical treatment, and that’s why if your son or daughter’s knock knees persist past the young age of 5 or 6, then you should seek medical treatment – or at least a diagnosis.
• Vitamin C Deficiency, Called Scurvy
Did you know that vitamin C is very important for the production of connective tissue in your body? The term connective tissue refers to the tissues that connect the body together – muscles, tendons, ligaments and the cells in between.
Vitamin C sends a signal to the bones to move in certain ways. For example, bones that are mending need a signal to close the wound.
Other symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency include: bruising, pinpoint hemorrhages seen in the skin, fatigue, listlessness, nosebleeds, swollen or painful joints, anemia, slow healing of wounds, bleeding gums, shortness of breath, and weakened dentine of the teeth.
It’s great to know that most children will probably not need knock knees treatment. But do insure that your child gets plenty of vitamin C and vitamin D – and all the rest of the vitamins and minerals he or she needs to grow up healthy.
These same vitamins and minerals prevent infections from happening that can affect the bone as well.
If your child still has knock knees in older years, rest assured that he or she won’t have to go through life with the embarrassment that many suffer from when they have the problem. Surgical techniques can change knock knees into beautiful knees in very little time.