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Genu varum

Genu varum Definition

Genu varum is a physical deformity often called “bow-leggedness” as it manifests as an outward curving of the legs, with great resemblance to a bow. This is characterized by the deformity in both the femur and tibia. It is important to note that if the curvature is only found on the tibia and not on the femur, the deformity is Blount's disease and not Genu varum. All children are bow-legged to some extent at birth. However, over the first year, the knee joints join together and come closer to each other, and the femur begins to slope downward towards the joints. The tibia tends to straighten out as the foot soles face downwards. In the process, the bones ossify. By the time a child is ready to walk; the limbs are already formed and shaped to give the body weight sufficient support.

Genu varum Treatment

On the occasion that Genu varum results from rickets, it is vital that the disease be treated as a constitutional disease. Moreover, parents must be instructed to not place the child with Genu varum on their feet. While this in itself does not constitute a cure, applying supporting splints may be used to hasten the correction of the deformity. For adult patients that manifest Genu varum from occupational accidents or trauma, the sole treatment available is surgery.

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