What does it mean when someone is referred to as being “knock-kneed” or having “knock-knees”? Other than the alliterated name, does it actually mean anything? Knock knee is a condition that is characterized by an angulation of the knees that produces an inability to get the ankles together. When a person with knock knees stands, the knees come together, preventing the ankles from being able to be brought together.
The condition usually presents itself between the ages of two and six years and the exact cause isn’t really known. To a certain degree, a slight knock-knee stance may be quite common and a natural part of development for 2-6 year-old. But, for some, the condition is not one that is outgrown, or it can also develop as a result of a disease process.
During childhood, being knock-kneed can present a cosmetic deformity, which may also be seen as a waddling gait or way of walking. Over time, the condition can put abnormal stress on the knee and can stretch the inner knee ligaments and cause muscle strain, or even eventual arthritis. If arthritis develops, it is normally in the knee.
Most children who show signs of being knock-kneed in early childhood do eventually outgrow the condition. For parents who are concerned, a trip to the doctor for evaluation will be necessary. A doctor will evaluate to see if the condition is getting better or worse and there may be x-rays or other screenings and tests to determine whether the knock-knees are a symptom of another disease. In very rare and extreme cases, surgery may be necessary. When surgery is required, the results are quite good and a full recovery can be expected.
For those interested in finding out more about knock-knees, the internet can provide a good resource for gathering information. The United States National Library of Science and the National Institutes of Health produce an online website called Medline Plus. This site provides encyclopedic information a variety of health care and medical concerns. The page dedicated to the condition of knock-knees can be found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001263.htm and provides additional information about symptoms and treatment, as well as potential complications and what to expect from a prognosis for those who have knock-knees. This source also provides several links to other articles and other online resources relating to this condition, as well as links to other related conditions and health care concerns.