Varus vs Valgus knee are both different misalignments on the knee.
A well-positioned knee has a load-bearing axis on a line that runs through the middle of the leg, from the hip down to the knee, and finally to the ankle.
If any factor interferes with this alignment at birth, the misalignment will lead to either valgus or varus knee.
Valgus knee alignment, also known as the knock knee, causes the knees to come in contact with the legs.
In the case of varus knees, the knees do not come in contact with the legs. The valgus and varus misalignments put great strain on the knee, leading to worse arthritis.
What is Varus Knee?
Varus knee is also known as genu varum (Bow-leg). It is a condition that affects the bone alignment in the human leg.
If you have this condition, the large bone in your calf, the tibia, does not fit well with the large bone in your thigh, the femur.
This defect is common in newborns. It can result from improper bone formation in children and adults due to cancer, rickets, and arthritis.
Exercise can help reduce the pain caused by this condition.
Characteristics of Varus Knee
- The varus knee alignment causes the axis carrying the loads on the leg to rotate inward, causing much stress and compulsion in the inner area of the knee. This causes the knees to bend outward, which is why people with varus can be referred to as bow-legged.
- If you are suffering from varus, which is generally known as bow leg, you risk knee osteoarthritis. Those overweight stand a higher risk, but you can reduce the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis by reducing weight.
- In addition, your level of varus alignment can increase your risk of knee osteoarthritis aside from having so much weight. A higher level or worse means a higher chance of knee osteoarthritis.
Causes of Varus Disease
- Bone infection
- Bone tumor
- Brittle bone disease
- Blount’s disease
- Paget’s disease of the bone
What is Valgus Knee?
Valgus misalignment is when the knees bend inwards and touch against each other.
This changes the axis that carries the load on the outer side, causing increased pressure across the back or outer part of the knee.
Characteristics of Valgus Knee
- Valgus misalignment occurs when the knees bend inwards and come in contact with each other. As a result, the axis carries the load on the outer side, causing increased pressure across the back part of the knee.
- Valgus knee makes a person’s knee joins together. It also damages the cartilage that binds to the bones and causes joint space narrowing.
- Valgus alignment is not as harmful as varus alignment but can also increase the chance of knee osteoarthritis and cause it to progress once it has started. In addition, it is a condition that hurts people suffering from it as sometimes they find it difficult to climb the staircase.
Causes of Valgus Knee
Valgus knee does not just occur. It can be a result of some causes which are as follows;
- Congenital – due to longitudinal deficiency of fibula.
- Iliotibial band contract.
- Malunion fracture
- Growth promotion of greenstick proximal tibial metaphysic fractures
- Asymmetric growth retardation due to differentiation involving the posterior part of the upper tibial physis or distal femoral physis.
- Infection – causes asymmetric growth disorder
- Knee arthritis – rheumatoid, hemophilia
- Arthritis metabolic syndrome.
Symptoms of Varus vs Valgus Knee
Varus vs Valgus knee have the same symptoms.
- Knee pain is common in both valgus and varus correction
- Patients experience difficulty walking or running
- Reduced movement in the hips
Diagnosis of Varus vs Valgus Knee
Both the varus and the valgus knee are diagnosed in the same way.
- An orthopedic specialist collects your medical history and asks you some personal questions about your current health and any pre-existing conditions.
- Physical examination of the legs often helps to diagnose.
- An X-ray is done to confirm it.
Treatment for Varus vs Valgus Knee
The first step to treating varus and the valgus knee is trying to correct any condition that causes discomfort on the knee.
For instance, a child diagnosed with rickets is usually treated with vitamin D and calcium to strengthen bones before it becomes worse.
Bracing is another option to help support the knee and correct the varus and valgus misalignment. In addition, physical therapy may be provided to help improve the patient’s strength and performance in those conditions.
In some critical cases, it will be best to use a surgical procedure in the form of an osteotomy, a procedure in which a bone is cut and resuscitated. The process demands an adjustment in the bone at the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shinbone).
Many children are naturally overwhelmed by their shortcomings. For example, the knees of affected children are bent until they are 3 years old and kneel until they are 7 or 8 years old. After that, no further treatment is required.
Some children stay on their knees until they are teenagers. Also, some grown-ups can remain on their knees a little.
Parents can also take pictures once every six months to see if there are any changes in the situation.
Differences Between Varus and Valgus Knee
- Knee bends occur when legs bend and knees touch while ankles separate, while Bow legs occur when the legs bend like a bow. There is a visible gap between the knees where the feet are placed together.
- Kneeling in children is usually straight at the end, although most adults observe certain aspects of the disorder, while Bowing down can cause children to become pigeon toes, with their toes pointing at each other.
The varus vs valgus knee have the same symptoms and diagnosis and cause pain to their victims.
Varus vs valgus knee also cause discomfort that can lead to osteoarthritis and cartilage cushioning injuries to the knee but both can be corrected.
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