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Healthy bones and teeth are formed by phosphorus. Phosphorus is vital to body metabolism. Phosphorus is found in dairy foods, meat and fish. Phosphorus deficiency can result in rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Imbalance in phosphorus and calcium can lead to osteoporosis.

Bow Legs

Bow legs or Genu varum is a pediatric medical condition if the developing child's legs do not straighten up during the stages of walking. At birth children usually have bow legged appearance which gradually disappears. It is necessary to differentiate between rickets, Blount's disease and bow legs as the former is caused because of vitamin D deficiency. In a developing child, the bow legged condition slowly disappears. Orthopedic opinion is necessary if the child complains of pain or limping as it may indicate some other associated condition. Bow legs usually last for first two or three years and gradually a right posture is noticed.

Genu valgum

Genu valgum, also known as knock knees is a kind of leg deformity, where the legs are turned inwards with the knees touching each other and ankles remaining apart. It is normally noticed in some infants and usually resolves on its own in the growing years. Legs get completely straightened by the time they reach seven to eight years.

Typically a small gap between the feet and ankles is normal. However if children have a gap of more than 10 cm between their ankles or present an excessive inward or outward knee angle, they must be examined. Such children might have difficulty walking or might walk with an awkward gait. A family history of skeletal problems might also lead to knock knees in children. In adults, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can lead to knock knees. Very rarely, Genu valgum may be caused by pathological reasons and in such cases, the deformity continues to stay or worsen well beyond the adolescent years. Some of the medical conditions that may lead to pathological Genu valgum are:

  • Rickets
  • Trauma to the shinbone (in such case single leg will have Genu valgum)
  • Bone infection
  • Obesity

Diagnosis and treatment

Knock knees are diagnosed through clinical examination. No further tests are ordered for small children. Physiological Genu valgum gets resolved as the child grows. There is no treatment involved here. Yet, regular monitoring is required to assess the progress. However if the problem persists into late childhood, orthopaedic investigation is required. The treatment for pathological Genu valgum involves recommending braces, exercise programmes and lifestyle restrictions. In rare cases surgery may be advised to achieve alignment of the legs.

Tags: #Phosphorus #Bow Legs #Genu valgum
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: March 5, 2024