Genu Valgum



Genu valgum, commonly called “knock-knees”, is a condition where the knees angle in and touch one another when the legs are straightened. Individuals with severe valgus deformities are typically unable to touch their feet together while simultaneously straightening the legs.


it is broadly classified into physiological and pathological the later could be unilateral or bilateral.


the primary deformity in a genu valgum is a medial angulation of the knee. In response to this, secondary deformities develop in the femur, tibia and foot. Primary and secondary deformities together from the genu valgum complex.

genu valgum1


  • INTERMALLEOLAR GAP: the severity of deformity is measured by noting the intermalleolar distance. METHOD: in the supine position the patella is brought to vertical by rotating both the legs and made to touch slightly at the knee. Then holding both the knees in position, the distance between the two malleoli is measured. Normally the limit is 8-10cm in genu valgum deformity it will be more than 10cm.
  • PLUMBLINE TEST: normally a line drawn from anterior superior iliac spine(ASIS) to middle of the patella, extended down strikes the medial malleolus. In genu valgum the medial malleolus would be outside this line.
  • KNEE FLEXION TEST: this is to detect the cause of genu valgumwhether it lies in the femur or tibia. If the deformity disappears with the flexion of the knee the cause lies in the lower end of femurand if it persist on flexion the cause lies in the upper end of tibia.
  • RADIOLOGICAL EXAMINATION:X-RAY of the entire lower limb is taken with the patient weight bearing.the angle formed between the femoral and the tibial shafts is measured on the radiograpsand allowing for a normal angle of 6 degree, genu valgum is calculated.


Generally, there is no known cure for knock knees post-childhood. Contrary to common belief, no amount of orthotic treatment or bodybuilding exercise will straighten knock knees for adults If the condition persists or worsens into late childhood and adulthood, a corrective osteotomy may be recommended to straighten the legs. This however is more of a cosmetic remedy, and may hamper athletic performance in the future.

Adults with uncorrected genu valgum are typically prone to injury and chronic knee problems such as chondromalacia and osteoarthritis. In some cases, total knee replacement (TKR) surgery may be required later in life to relieve pain and complications resulting from severe genu valgum.

At Physioline, all the members of the rehabilitation team work together so as to provide proper care and the therapy in order to:

  • Pain relief
  • Mobilization of knee
  • Muscle strengthening exercises
  • Relieve strain on ankles
  • Relieve spasm
  • Prescription for knock knee brace