Knocked Knees (Genu Valgum)

Appearance of the knees ‘knocking’ together from the frontal view.

Some degree of Genu valgum is generally present in pre-school aged children and those entering the teenage years as they undergo periods of growth. The opposite of this is Genu varum or bowed legs, which is generally present from birth to 2 years of age. When these knee positions persist out of phase or seem excessive in appearance, it is worthwhile having the lower limbs assessed by a health professional as abnormal loading of the joints may lead to injury. This is especially important if one of the limbs is affected and the other is not.

Assessment may include measuring the degree of deformity and investigating the pelvis and feet for further clues. Abnormal rotation of the pelvis and excessive range of motion in the rear foot and fore foot can be associated with these conditions. Treatment may involve strengthening and stretching exercises, footwear assessment, possible orthotic use and referral to other health professionals where required.