Blount’s disease is a condition that causes the leg bones below the knee/s to curve or bow outward. This is caused by an abnormality in the growth plate of the tibia (shinbone). Some amount of bowing is normal in young infants and toddlers.
Obesity in children can lead to Blount’s disease. It is also more common in persons with African heritage. Some studies show that your child’s chances for having Blount’s disease increase if someone in your family has had the condition.
If your child’s pediatrician thinks that your child may have Blount’s disease, he or she will refer your child to an orthopedic specialist. Orthopedic specialists at Riley at IU Health will examine your child’s legs and will also have X-rays made to look at the bones.
An X-ray is needed to check for abnormal growth patterns at the top of the shinbone/s. Abnormal growth patterns are the hallmark of Blount’s disease. An X-ray also helps the orthopedist measure the severity of the bowing.
Surgery is the most effective treatment option for Blount’s disease. Your child’s orthopedic surgeon will discuss surgery around the age of 3 if the condition is caught by this time. The type of surgical intervention depends on the type and severity of your child's condition. Options may include:
Your child’s orthopedic surgeon will discuss this in more detail with you if needed.
Visit the following online resources to learn more about Blount’s disease.
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