Genu varus (Arcuate legs): what is it and how to correct it
Genu varus, also known as bowed legs, is a normally genetic condition in which the rods remain flat when the legs and legs are put together. This usually occurs because the tibia is not correctly aligned with the femur, giving it a different shape to the leg line.
This condition is common in babies and it disappears after the first few years of life, however, when it is not corrected and worsens with time, it is necessary to go to an orthopedist to confirm the diagnosis, being common to find this alteration in illnesses such as rickets, Blount disease and other diseases related to the growth of the bones.
The treatment for the arched legs can vary according to the cause and the degree of alteration, ranging from a calcium supplement with vitamin D and, in cases of rickets, for example, surgery to realign the bones.
Possible causes of genu varus
The most common cause of genu varus is the genetic predisposition which can be corrected only until the 2 years of age without the need for treatment. However, in case there is no pain or difficulty in walking, this condition can remain until the 8 years of age without the need for specific treatment, but it is important that it be evaluated by the pediatrician, orthopedist or physical therapist so that the evolution or improvement sean monitored.
Other possible causes of bowed legs are:
- Infecciones en los huesos;
- Bone tumors;
- Conditions such as rickets and achondroplasia;
- Paget’s illness;
- Blount’s illness;
- Poisoning by lead or fluorine;
- ligament laxity;
- Beginning of the first steps to an early age.
Despite the fact that it is more common in children, it can be seen in adults when treatment is not received in childhood or in cases of joint diseases such as osteoarthritis, for example.
how to diagnose
Arched legs are usually diagnosed by the pediatrician during routine consultations, without embargo, it is also common for priests to observe leg deformity. In these cases, it is important to inform the pediatrician about this situation so that the child can be referred to an orthopedist or a physical therapist with the aim of evaluating the causes and thus starting the appropriate treatment.
Exams to identify you
To confirm the diagnosis, the asymmetry of the legs, the walk and the angle of the arched legs will be observed, but to know the severity, it is common for the orthopedist to request radiographs of the legs and rodillas, so that the child must remain on his feet. , front and side.
In case there is a suspicion of some illness involved such as Paget or Blount, for example, the doctor may request blood analysis and imaging studies such as a computerized axial tomography (CAT) and a nuclear magnetic resonance.
Treatment options available
Some of the treatment options for arched legs include:
- Calcium and Vitamin D Supplement: It is mainly used in case of lack of these nutrients in the organism to strengthen the bones, as occurs in cases of rickets;
- Muscle strengthening exercises: they must be performed with a physical therapist to strengthen the muscles of the legs and help to align them;
- Surgery: It is used in the most advanced cases when the other techniques do not provoke any alteration in the alignment of the legs.
Surgery, known as high tibial osteotomy, is usually indicated for adolescents and adults and that physical therapy has positive results when it starts in childhood, and has the objective of adapting the shape of the bones to reduce pressure on the joint and allow it to realignment of the tibia with the femur.
Exercise examples for arched legs
Exercises to help correct arched legs must always be guided by a physical therapist or orthopedist after physical evaluation, as the current deformity can injure more cartilage, bones and muscles during exercise. Some of the exercises that can be advised by the professional are:
1. Exercise to strengthen the side of the muscles
This exercise can help to strengthen the muscles and reduce the curvature of the rodillas in varus. You must lie on your side on an exercise mat with both legs flexed and open and close the rods as shown in the image.
2. Exercise to strengthen the glutes
In the case of arched legs, it is also very important to strengthen the buttocks; for this, a good exercise consists of placing yourself in the position of 4 supports in the south and after lifting one of the legs in the direction of the ceiling. This movement should be performed slowly and repeated between 8 to 10 times, making 3 series with each leg.
3. Exercise to strengthen the back of the legs
To carry out the exercise, you must remain on your feet and support a hand on the wall or in a silla and luego, with the rods together, flex a leg behind without separating the rods. This exercise should be performed between 8 and 10 times with each leg, making 3 series.
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