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Find out about the process and expected recovery time
Genu valgum is commonly referred to as ‘knock kneed’, a condition where the knees angle in and touch when the legs are straightened. People with severe valgus deformities are typically unable to touch their feet together while simultaneously straightening the legs.
Mild genu valgum is relatively common in children up to two years of age, and is often corrected naturally as they grow and develop. However, the condition may continue or worsen with age, particularly when it is the result of a disease, such as rickets or obesity. Idiopathic is the term used to describe genu valgum that is congenital or has no known cause.
Genu valrum or genu varus (Blount's Disease), commonly referred to as ‘bow-leggedness’, is a deformity marked by medial angulation of the leg in relation to the thigh, an outward bowing of the legs, giving the appearance of a bow. It is also known as bandy-leg, bowleg, bow-leg, and tibia vara. Usually there is an outward curvature of both femur and tibia, with at times an interior bend of the latter bone.
The surgeon is then able to realign the knee angulation by levering the ends of the tibia together at the wedge of bone. The fractured ends are secured with a strong plate and screws, and if necessary the surgeon will add bone graft to secure the fractured tibia further. The most common form of knee realignment surgery described here is termed a high tibial osteotomy.
Different techniques are used to realign a knee depending on the correction required. An opening wedge osteotomy is where the bone is cut with a saw and then opened up with chisels to create a wedge-shaped opening. A closing wedge osteotomy is where the bone is cut twice and the wedge removed.