Knock Knees

What are knock knees, and how are they treated?

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Knock knees, clinically referred to as genu valgum, is a relatively common pediatric orthopedic issue. 

While the condition usually self-corrects during childhood, it can persist into adulthood. 

If you or your child have knock knees, the orthopedic knee specialists at OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio, can help.

What Are Knock Knees?

Knock knee is a condition that causes the knees to bend inward. Visually, when you stand, your knees touch, but your ankles don’t. 

You may hear the condition referred to as genu valgum, knock-knee deformity, or knock-knee syndrome.

The condition is relatively common in children. Most children are bow-legged until they begin to walk, and by the time they’re 2 or 3, their legs start to angle inward, straightening by the age of 7 or 8. 

In some cases, the legs may never straighten and can even worsen over time.


About Knock Knees

Knock knees can affect your gait, leading to painful and disruptive symptoms, including knee pain, limping, stiff joints, and reduced balance.

You might also have pain in your feet, ankles, or hips.

What Causes Knock Knees?

Knock knee may be caused by a congenital deformity, developmental disease, infection, or injury. 

Some of the common causes of severe knock knees include:

  • Rickets
  • Arthritis
  • Benign bone tumors
  • Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
  • Fractures and other knee injuries
  • Growth plate injuries
  • Metabolic disease
  • Kidney failure

Obesity can increase your risk of developing knock knees.

How Do You Fix Knock Knees?

The orthopedic knee specialists at OrthoNeuro offer highly personalized treatments to correct knock knees. 

Following a comprehensive exam, your physician may recommend:

Non-Surgical Treatments

Your physician may suggest physical therapy.

Exercises and stretches can strengthen your leg muscles and lead to knee realignment. 

An added benefit of exercise is weight loss, which can reduce the stress on your knees.

Physical therapy is often progressive, with the activities and intensity changing as you get stronger and your condition resolves. 

Physical therapy is often progressive, with the activities and intensity changing as you get stronger and your condition resolves.

Your doctor may also suggest orthotics, braces, or splints in order to address limb length differences and gait issues while helping your leg bones move into the correct position.

Your orthopedist may suggest that you see your primary care provider to treat the underlying health issue that causes your knock knees.


If you have severe knock knees or non-invasive treatments haven’t relieved your pain or other symptoms, you may need surgery. 

Children may benefit from guided growth surgery.

During this procedure, the surgeon inserts a small piece of metal into the knee that helps the bone grow in the right direction. Your surgeon removes the metal plate once the realignment is complete.

Orthopedic surgeons usually recommend osteomyelitis for adults and older teenagers.

This procedure also involves surgically placing a small metal plate into the knee. However, instead of guiding growth, the plate acts as a permanent brace to correct your knee alignment.

In severe cases, your orthopedist may suggest a knee replacement and correct your knee alignment with an artificial knee joint.

Can Knock Knees Be Corrected in Adults?

Yes, the orthopedic knee experts at OrthoNeuro can correct knock knees in adults. 

You are more likely to need surgical correction as your bones are no longer growing, limiting the effectiveness of braces and other corrective therapies.

Call OrthoNeuro today or make an appointment online if you or your child have knock knees and want expert, personalized treatments to correct the alignment of your knees and legs.

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Knee Specialist Today!

If you have knock knees, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic Knee Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus. 

We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of treatment is best for you.

Knee Specialists

If you have a severe knee injury or chronic knee pain that reduces your mobility or quality of life, contact OrthoNeuro to schedule a consultation. Our expert orthopedic surgeons are on hand to diagnose and treat your knee problem.

Michael B. Cannone, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Mark E. Gittins, DO, FAOAO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Ryan M. Palmer, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

B. Rodney Comisar, MD, FAAOS

Orthopedic Surgeon

Mark T. Kolich, D.O.

Orthopedic Surgeon

Keith A. LaDu, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Jeremy R. Mathis, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Meniscus repair six months ago. Surgery went smoothly. Dr. set realistic expectations that have been met. Great team to work with