Understanding Knock Knees: Causes and Risk Factors By Dr. Sameer Desai, Pune

Understanding Knock Knees: Causes and Risk Factors
  • September 18, 2023
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Knock knees, medically known as Genu Valgum, is a common orthopedic condition that affects people of all ages. As a practicing orthopedic doctor in Pune, I often encounter patients with knock knees seeking guidance and treatment. In this article, I will shed light on the causes and risk factors associated with knock knees to help you better understand this condition.

What are Knock Knees?

Knock knees is a condition where the knees angle inward and touch each other when the legs are straightened. This leads to a noticeable gap between the ankles while standing with the feet together. While it’s common in young children, it can also persist into adulthood or develop later in life.

Causes of Knock Knees

  1. Normal Growth in Children: In many cases, knock knees are a normal part of a child’s growth and development. It often becomes noticeable between the ages of 2 to 5 and typically corrects itself as the child grows older. By the age of 7, most children have straightened their legs.
  2. Bone Development Abnormalities: Some individuals may have structural issues with their bones that can lead to knock knees. Conditions like rickets, a deficiency of vitamin D and calcium, can weaken the bones and cause them to bend.
  3. Genetics: Genetic factors can play a role in the development of knock knees. If your parents or close relatives have a history of knock knees, you may be more prone to developing this condition.
  4. Obesity: Excess weight can exert additional pressure on the knee joints, potentially leading to knock knees. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent or alleviate this condition.
  5. Injury or Trauma: A knee injury or trauma, if left untreated, can result in an alignment issue that may lead to knock knees.

Risk Factors

Several factors can increase the risk of developing knock knees, including:

  1. Age: Knock knees are most common in young children as part of normal development. However, they can persist or develop in adulthood, particularly if left untreated in childhood.
  2. Gender: Females are more likely to develop knock knees than males. This gender predisposition may be due to differences in bone structure and growth patterns.
  3. Family History: A family history of knock knees can increase your risk of developing the condition.
  4. Obesity: Being overweight or obese puts extra strain on the knees and can contribute to the development of knock knees.
  5. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as rickets, Blount’s disease, and skeletal dysplasia, can increase the risk of developing knock knees.


Understanding the causes and risk factors associated with knock knees is crucial for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. While knock knees are common in children and often resolve on their own, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional if you notice persistent or severe symptoms.

As an orthopedic doctor in Pune, I recommend seeking medical advice if you or your child is experiencing knock knees, as early intervention can help prevent long-term complications and ensure proper alignment and function of the knees. Whether through lifestyle modifications, exercises, or, in severe cases, surgical intervention, there are effective treatment options available to manage this condition and improve your quality of life.