Most of us hear the terms bowlegged and knock-kneed in relation to children. Kids go through stages of both conditions as they grow and develop but their legs generally straighten out by six to eight years old. Adults can become bowlegged or knock-kneed as well, usually from weakened knee ligaments and deteriorating cartilage. But, unlike in children, these problems aren’t the kind that will self-correct with age. Without proper attention from a medical professional, they may even lead to more serious conditions. The signs of a knee joint deformity can be subtle as an adult. You may not even realize you have one of these conditions. Could you be a bow-legged or knock-kneed adult?
Causes and Symptoms
Adults who are bowlegged have a condition called Genu Varum, which causes the knee joint to angle outward. It is also commonly called “varus knee.” The opposite condition is called Genu Valgum—or “valgus knee”—where the knee joint is angled inward. Both conditions have similar causes. The individual may have experienced infection, tumor, or injury in the knee or leg, their bones may have been malformed since childhood due to a calcium and vitamin C deficiency, they may have strained knees due to obesity or arthritis, or they could have an existing bone condition like Blount’s disease of Paget’s disease of the bone. The most common symptom for both conditions is the physical appearance of the legs as knock-kneed or bowlegged followed by stiff joints, knee pain, and walking with a limp.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If these symptoms sound familiar to you, give your doctor or specialist a call. They can help diagnose the problem by observing how you stand and walk or by ordering an X-ray or MRI to take a closer look at your bone alignment. Genu Varum and Genu Valgum treatment in adults will depend on the severity of your symptoms. In more advanced cases, surgery and legs braces may be necessary to correct the misaligned joints. If your symptoms are less severe, your doctor may prescribe medication to ease joint pain, or he or she may recommend an over the counter orthotic.
Warwick Wedge: A Simple and Inexpensive Solution
It may come as a surprise to be diagnosed with bowlegs or knock-knees as an adult. The joint misalignment causing your pain could be so slight you don’t notice much angling inward or outward when you look at your legs in the mirror. But if your doctor thinks an over the counter orthotic could help you, treatment may be easier than you think. Consider the Warwick Wedge. Our insoles are placed in the shoe to correct for the inward or outward angulation of the knee joint. By reducing the pronation (rolling in) or supination (rolling out) of the foot, the Warwick Wedge works to relieve the pain and stiffness often caused by misaligned joints.
Only your doctor or specialist can offer counsel on the best treatment for you but it’s important to know the options available. For some patients, the Warwick Wedge could be the easiest and most cost-effective way to find relief from your symptoms.