Concept

Genu varum

Résumé
Genu varum (also called bow-leggedness, bandiness, bandy-leg, and tibia vara) is a varus deformity marked by (outward) bowing at the knee, which means that the lower leg is angled inward (medially) in relation to the thigh's axis, giving the limb overall the appearance of an archer's bow. Usually medial angulation of both lower limb bones (fibula and tibia) is involved. If a child is sickly, either with rickets or any other ailment that prevents ossification of the bones or is improperly fed, the bowed condition may persist. Thus the chief cause of this deformity is rickets. Skeletal problems, infection, and tumors can also affect the growth of the leg, sometimes giving rise to a one-sided bow-leggedness. The remaining causes are occupational, especially among jockeys, and from physical trauma, the condition being very likely to supervene after accidents involving the condyles of the femur. Children until the age of 3 to 4 have a degree of genu varum. The child sits with the soles of the feet facing one another; the tibia and femur are curved outwards; and, if the limbs are extended, although the ankles are in contact, there is a distinct space between the knee-joints. During the first year of life, a gradual change takes place. The knee-joints approach one another; the femur slopes downward and inward towards the knee joints; the tibia become straight, and the sole of the foot faces almost directly downwards. While these changes are occurring, the bones, which at first consist principally of cartilage, are gradually becoming ossified. By the time a normal child begins to walk, the lower limbs are prepared, both by their general direction and by the rigidity of the bones which form them, to support the weight of the body. Nutritional rickets is an important cause of childhood genu varum or bow legs in some parts of the world. Nutritional rickets is due to unhealthy life style habits as insufficient exposure to sun light which is the main source of vitamin D. Insufficient dietary intake of calcium is another contributing factor.
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