The knee varum means a deviation from the knees to the outside

The knee varum means a deviation from the knees to the outside. She is called physiological before 3 years old, and pathological when she persists. In common language, we sometimes talk about ′′ arched legs ". Both knees walk away from each other. Some treatments may be considered in case of pathological varum genu.

Genu varum what is it?

Definition of genu varum

Knee varum means a knees deviation that settles during growth. At birth, the lower limb axis is not yet fully established. The newborn baby naturally has a varum genu, i.e. a deviation from the knees to the outside.

The lower limbs axis will gradually reverse with the occurrence of a valgum knee (knee deviation inward) before finding adult physiological alignment. Nevertheless, there are cases where the genu varum persists. It is said to be pathological, as opposed to the physiological varum genu that occurs during children’s early years. The pathological varum genu can have many explanations that are detailed below.

Causes of genu varum

Up to about 3 years old, varum genu is considered physiological. It is a stage of child growth. The knees will then gradually align themselves with the adult physiological axis.

The valgum genu is considered pathological if it does not mitigate. This case is a sign of growth cartilage that can have a congenital or acquired origin. The main causes of a pathological varum genu are:

the congenital varus which is usually the result of fetal malposition;
Vitamin D deficiencies or vitamin-resistant rickets, which result in a defect or delay in bone mineralization;
the achondroplasia which is a genetic disease leading to dancing;
Blount’s disease characterized by a lack of growth in shin;
some dysplasia, i.e. tissue or organs development problems such as fibrocartilaginous focal dysplasia.
Diagnosis of genu varum

He is based on a clinical exam. The healthcare professional will measure:

the inter-condylian distance, that is the distance between the inner condyles of femurs;
the femoro-shin angle, that is the angle between the femur (unique thigh bone) and the shin (leg bone).
In the majority of cases, the diagnosis of valgum genu is carried out in children. This one needs to be placed in standing position with the extension knees and front knees. If the child refuses, the exam can be done in a sleeping position.

To deepen the diagnosis and identify the cause of genu varum, further examinations can be carried out. The healthcare professional may ask:

medical imaging exams;
a dose of vitamin D.
People affected by genu varum

Genu varum can be seen in many children between 0 and 2 years old. It is then a normal stage of growth.

Pathological varum genum is rarer. It happens when the knees deviation persists after 3 years. It is usually diagnosed in children but sometimes in adults.

Several factors can increase the risk of pathological varum genu:

a genetic predisposition;
an overweight or early obesity;
deficiencies, including vitamin deficiencies;
the practice of some sports, most often at high level.
Symptoms of genu varum

Knees Deviation Outside

The varum knee is characterized by a deviation from the knees to the outside. Both knees are far from each other. In the common language, we sometimes talk about ′′ arched legs ". Depending on the case, knee deviation can be:

one-sided or bilateral;
more or less severe;
symmetrical or asymmetrical.
Other symptoms

Barbecue with walking: When persistent, genu varum may tend to disturb the movements of lower limbs. Sometimes inconvenience can be accompanied by knee pain and enraidment.
Risk of complications: Pathological varum genum can lead to progressive destruction of cartilage. This is a risk factor for gonarthritis (knee osteoarthritis).
Genu varum treatments

Before 3 years old, a physiological valgum genu requires no treatment. This is a normal growth stage. The knee deviation towards the outside fades naturally.

On the other hand, treatment may be considered in some cases of pathological varum genu. It depends on the cause identified and the symptoms perceived:

vitamin D supplementation in case of deficiency;
an osteotomy that is a surgical operation aimed at repairing bone and joint deformations;
a deepiphysiodesis which is a surgery to reduce epiphysiodesis (growth disorder with cartilage trauma);
an orthopedic treatment with, for example, the wearing of couches and / or soles;
Physiotherapy sessions;
an anti-inflammatory and pain treatment in case of significant knee pain.
Prevent genu varum

Some cases of genu varum cannot be prevented, especially those of genetic origin. On the other hand, other cases are related to preventable risk factors. In particular, it should be:

prevent and fight overweight in children;
maintain a balanced and varied diet to avoid nutritional deficiencies in children.