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a childhood deformity, developing gradually, in which the knees rub together or “knock” in walking and the ankles are far apart; the most common causes are irregularity in growth of the long bones of the lower limb (sometimes from injury to the bone ends at the knee) and weak ligaments. The weight of the body, which is not supported properly, turns the knees in and the weak lower legs buckle until the ankles are spread far apart. Called also genu valgum.

Knock-knee in young children varies in seriousness. Milder cases may disappear after early childhood as bones, ligaments, and muscles strengthen and coordination improves. More serious cases can often be corrected by strengthening exercises and by proper manipulation of the joints. Sometimes braces are used to ensure the proper alignment of growing legs.

In a very young child, knock-knee involves only the soft bone ends where the bone grows. If allowed to continue for a number of years, the condition can lead to abnormal developments in body structure. The sooner corrective measures are taken, the more effective the treatment is likely to be.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

ge·nu val·'gum

a deformity marked by lateral angulation of the leg in relation to the thigh.
Synonym(s): knock-knee, tibia valga
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


A deformity of the legs in which the knees are abnormally close together and the ankles are spread widely apart.

knock′-kneed′ adj.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

ge·nu val·gum

(jē'nyū val'gŭm)
A deformity marked by lateral angulation of the leg in relation to the thigh.
Synonym(s): knock-knee, tibia valga.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
What causes knock-knees? If they develop later in childhood or don't improve with age, then usually there's an underlying problem such as:
For instance, from birth to one and half years, they tend to be bowed but this is usually slight bowing which turns into knock-knees at three years.
Knock-knees in children are less of a parental concern than bowlegs.
Knock-knees - or genu valgum to use the medical term - are rarely anything to worry about.
Knock-knees, in which a child's legs curve in at the knees is common between the ages of three and seven.
Have you ever seen anyone with knock-knees from the back before?
Symptoms of rickets, which leads to softening of the bones, fits and slows a child's walking development, include bowed legs in toddlers and knock-knees in older children.
Such a vulnerable system can be knocked off balance very easily by intrinsic factors such as excessive bow legs or knock-knees; people whose joints move more than they should, particularly where the knee can bend backwards (hyperextension); people who have a slightly stiff hip; and those whose feet go flat when running (pronation), according to King.
Noway will mywee tot with her knock-knees, pot belly and chubby thighs ever be strolling about in that kind of gear in 10 years.
A period of rapid growth in a young student may produce temporary inadequacy of the quadriceps and cause the dancer with a jarrete configuration (knock-knees or saber-shaped legs) to push back and lock the kneecaps instead of placing the weight more forward on the feet.
During the film, Bertie talks about his strict father, a cruel nanny who favoured his elder brother, being forced to write with his right hand although he was left-handed and enduring a painful treatment for his knock-knees. The young prince had to wear painful metal splints to straighten out his legs.
Knock-knees. This inward curving of the legs is a normal part of development if it occurs before the age of five or six, and usually requires no treatment unless it persists after the age of 10.