What is genu valgum?
Genu valgus is the variation of the axis of the lower extremities, in the frontal plane, in which there is an increase in the space between the ankles when the knees are held together. It is known as X-shaped or scissor knees, so that the knees are very close together and there is a lot of separation between the ankles. During growth there are a number of normal variations (physiological changes) and, in addition, various forces act on the limbs modifying their shape, since the joint support structures are still developing. Finally, at around 8 years of age, definitive alignment of the lower extremities is achieved and genu valgum resolves spontaneously. Once this period has passed, surgical treatment is necessary.
Example of knees with genu valgum
Why is it performed?
The treatment of knee valgus is focused to correct mainly:
- Ligamentous techniques on those that are elongated or shortened.
- Strengthening or stretching the affected muscles.
- Re-educate posture and improve the load on the meniscus.
- Improve aesthetics, symmetry or synergy of the entire locomotor system.
- Prevention of possible scoliosis or spinal deformities.
- Increasing the resistance in standing.
- Reduce the overload of the meniscus and the rest of the joints.
- Minimize the risk of injury.
- Re-education of walking and other functional movements used by the joints being treated.
What does it consist of?
The main treatment recommendations have included a wide range of options, ranging from lifestyle restriction and anti-inflammatory medications, exercise programs and physical therapy. In more complicated cases, surgery may be indicated. No consensus has been established on the most appropriate treatment for genu valgum. Certain surgeons focus on treatment of the patella, favoring arthroscopic techniques or open realignment. On the other hand, if the valgus and limb malalignment is visually noticeable, a corrective osteotomy may be indicated.
Preparation for genu valgum correction
There is no specific preparation for genu valgum treatment.
The patient should properly stretch the joints worked during treatment in order to avoid muscle injury or tearing.