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One of the important concerns parents have regarding their children's legs is their alignment viewed from the front. We must be clear that in the first 18 months of life it is usual for children to see themselves with their legs in "parentheses", then around 2 years of age they see their knees straight and then children become "knees together" until they are 3 years old and means, medium.
After this age, the knees continue together but progressively decreases until the age of 7-9, which will remain with their shape for the rest of their evolution. Any parameter outside of this alignment is out of the ordinary.
1. Legs in parentheses. Also known as Genu Varo, it is a physical peculiarity marked by an outward tilt of the leg. The minor presents an exaggerated curvature of the knees that can be inherited. It is common in infants and, in many cases, it corrects naturally with growth.
2. Legs in X. Also known as Genu Valgus, it is a deformity characterized by the deviated thigh and leg. It can occur between the ages of 3 and 6, when the body undergoes a natural change in the alignment of the legs. It almost never requires treatment because the legs tend to straighten themselves. When the problem is very pronounced, be it in both legs or only one, you should see a doctor and if pain or difficulty walking occurs, a corrective operation can be considered after the age of 10.
The important thing about this is not aesthetics, that we like more or less the shape of the legs, but the consequences that this shape may bring on the knees in the future. As long as the shape of the legs allows the transmission of weight from the hip to the ankle to pass centered on the knee, the alignment is correct. If this load transmission is carried out outside or inside the knee, the alignment is not correct.
If your child has bow legs, and especially if you are complaining of knee pain that seems to be getting worse over time and it cannot be determined that it is due to injury or blow, the doctor may suspect that you have Blount's disease and may refer you to a specialist in the treatment of bones.
The orthopedic doctor will perform a complete physical examination and X-rays of your child's legs. It is important to note that some slight changes in the bones can be difficult to notice in children under two years of age, and it is often difficult to tell if a young child has a normal arch for his age that will correct itself or has a case of Blount's disease. Follow-up is necessary, and it is usually easier for the doctor to make a diagnosis by three years. At this age, a physical examination of the child is usually sufficient. And as I have commented, it is essential to take into account the age and the alignment that corresponds to each age.
In most cases, therefore, the evolution throughout the first years of life brings us to a normal alignment, so that no type of treatment is necessary other than periodic observation. But in cases where there are alignment problems that have not been corrected with growth, the doctor may advise the use of orthopedic devices, insoles, footwear ... in cases where there is some pathology causing the deformity, or that the varus or valgus exceed normal values, in order to stop the evolution or correct it.
When this problem persists beyond two years or only affects one leg, it may be the sign of a larger problem, such as rickets or Blount's disease.
Is it appropriate to use a walker? The use of the walker has been identified in multiple scientific publications as a risk factor in terms of safety, these devices expand the territory of movement of children that are often neglected by parents such as access to ramps, stairs, electrical devices, tablecloths on the tables or buttons on the stoves, increasing the risk of accidents.
The evidence is not 100% clear if there are developmental alterations, although many specialists emphasize that it does not generate an anatomical or normal gait shape, due to the way the legs open and the weight load in the groin. But the risk in terms of children's safety is clear.
And the jumping jacks? The use of bouncers before 9 months of age has been found related to fractures of the femur, as a consequence of the impact when jumping, since the little ones do not control the rise and much less the descent, bearing all their weight, on the legs, who are not yet ready to take it.
So before resorting to unnecessary and ineffective toys / treatments, consult your pediatrician or a specialist in Children's Orthopedics; Most likely, your child will not need any treatment, but if he does, it is important that the growth has not finished in order to correct it in the simplest and most effective way possible.
You can read more articles similar to Orthopedic knee problems in children, in the category of Orthopedics and on-site traumatology.