What is Bowing of the Knee (Genu Varum)?
When a patient exhibits outward curvature of the knees resulting in legs that appear 'bowed' shaped, they are considered to be suffering from Bowing of the Knees. This condition is most obvious between the ages of 12 months and 18 months and can occur in one or both knees.
Treatment of this condition is usually surgical and includes:
- A cut in the bone for realignment (Osteotomy) which tends to be necessary for an older adolescent who has stopped growing.
- Temporary tether of the normal outer growth plate at the knee in a younger child or a permanent tether in an older child
Bowing of the Knee is usually caused by:
- Blount's Disease (problems with development of the growth plate at the inner aspect of the knee)
- Previous infection or injury
- The condition may develop spontaneously in an overweight adolescent who previously had straight legs.
If left untreated, adolescents with bowing of the knee may experience pain while adults may develop pain in the medial part of the knee as well as arthritis.
Post-surgical complications that may arise can include:
- Compartment syndrome (increased pressure in a muscle compartment)
- Growth disturbance
- Recurrence of deformity