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Knock-Knees and Bow-Legs

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					Contact details
Children’s Physiotherapy Direct - 01452 891409 9.00-1200 Mon-Fri.




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Children’s Physiotherapy 01452 891414 (office).                         Knock-Knees and Bow-
Podiatry at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital 08454 228499.                        Legs



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Podiatry at St Pauls Medical Centre Cheltenham 01242 215470.




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                              GHPI0908_05_08
                   Author: Barbara Banks/Sarah Frodsham
                             Review: May 2011
                                                                              Patient Information for the Gloucestershire
                                                                                                       Health Community
What are knock knees?                                          The legs gradually straighten as the baby grows and
                                                               develops and bow legs will usually have disappeared by the
Knock-knees describe a position of the legs where the
                                                               age of 4 when it is common for children to appear knock-




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knees are together when the ankles are apart. It is common
                                                               kneed.
in children aged 3-8 and it is part of the normal process of
growth and development and will gradually correct itself. It




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may be more noticeable in children who are overweight.         General Advice




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When it is the same on both sides it is very unlikely to be    In most children bow legs and knock-knees do not need




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due to serious disease. No treatment will be needed unless     treatment. They will gradually correct themselves during
the condition continues to get worse or there is severe        the natural growth and development of their bones and




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deformity due to a disease or accident                         muscles.
                                                               If you are concerned about your child’s progress you may




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                                                               wish to take a photograph of their legs every six months to
                                                               keep a record of changes.




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                                                               If the bowing gets worse as the child grows or is worse
                                                               on one side than the other then an assessment by a
                                                               physiotherapist may be necessary. There are a few diseases




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                                                               that can cause bowing and these can be treated.
                                                               Very rarely surgery is used to straighten severely bowed




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                                                               legs or knock-knees in older children where correction has




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                                                               not happened naturally.

           1                 2                 3




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  Typical alignment       Bow Legs       Knock-Knees




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What are bow legs?
Bow legs describes a position where the knees are apart
when the ankles are together. Bowing happens when the
baby is growing in the womb, when the bones are soft.
Some bowing is common in babies and toddlers. It may
cause the child to walk with their feet turned inwards:
intoeing.

				
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