Generally, all babies are born with some degree of genu varum. Genu varum is also known as being bow-legged. Bow-leggedness consists of the knees being pointed and driven outward. Overtime as the child’s physiology develops limbs to point more inward and the femur drives down more vertically. Genu varum is only an issue when this normal growth and change doesn’t occur and bow-leggedness is maintained after childhood.
- Uneven wear and stress of knees
- Visual outward bowing of legs
- Knees stay apart even when the feet and ankles are straight and touching
A clinician will usually diagnose genu varum with X-rays and other imaging studies. A goniometer is frequently used to measure the degrees and severity of genu varum.
Genu varum really only occurs due to rickets, physical trauma, skeletal infections and tumors. Arthritis of the knee can also cause genu varum if the affected area is asymmetrical around the knee.
Resolving the disorder requires finding the right cause. Rickets will have to be treated with vitamin D. Skeletal development issues can also be resolved with splints in young children. In adults, surgery is the only treatment available.