Knee varus: exercises, braces, corrective insoles, physiotherapy and surgery. Causes and treatment. Onset of the varus knee in sportsmen.
Differences between valgus knee and varus knee
We talk aboutvalgus(and therefore of valgus knee) when between two bone segments there is an angle towards the inside or towards the midline of the body. With the valgus knee, when the person is standing, it is characterized by lower limbs with an inward curvature in relation to the thigh, in fact we speak ofknees to Xorknee valgus.
When the phenomenon is opposite, we speak ofvarus knee: in orthopedics thevarusit is characterized by two bone segments that form an angle with the apex facing outwards and therefore the subject, in an upright position, will show an outward curvature at the level of the knees. In these circumstances we speak ofvarus kneeorknees to the West.
Knee varus: consequences
Both joint alterations cause an overload of the joint and knee pain phenomena (knee pain). The cases ofvarus and valgusof pronounced entity, have surgical treatment as their only resolution. Small cases or when it comes toknees rotated, they can have treatments of good efficacy also in terms of physiotherapy and corrective gymnastics.
In case ofvarus kneeserious, medial degenerative meniscopathy may develop. When the joint is put to the test, thearthrosis(gonarthrosis, varus knee arthrosis ...).
Knee varus: care and treatment
Treatment depends greatly on the patient's age and the extent of the joint abnormality. In childhood, you can act promptly with corrective exercises, sports and orthopedic supports. In adolescents it is possible to intervene with surgery but only in the case of accentuated varus. Even in the case ofvarus in adults, the surgeon can still proceed with an operation: we are talking about osteotomy and it is a surgical treatment aimed at obtaining the real alignment of the bone axis that is displaced outwards due to bone alteration (varus).
If the overload has been prolonged over time to compromise one of the knee compartments, the only surgical solution involves replacing the joint with a knee prosthesis.
Knee varus: exercises
The femur and tibia are not perfectly aligned and the exercises to correct this anomaly (only when it is minor) aim at realigning the bone axis that constitutes the lower limb. Often physiotherapy interventions also correct the causes that led to the onset ofvarus.
The causes of varus can be many, sometimes we speak of congenital causes (linked to a weakness of the connective tissues), other times of varus acquired due to a prolonged incorrect posture, other times, varus can be the cause of a trauma. Sometimes, thevalgus or vare legsthey are linked to an anomaly of the feet that causes aincorrect position with respect to the knee. In these cases, the thigh is conducted obliquely to the knee and valgus knee (X-shaped knee) can develop.
Due to the incorrect position of the foot, sometimes conventional therapy to treat varus and mild valgus, involves the adoption of particularinsolescorrection. There are also targeted exercises designed to train the foot muscles so as to improve the axis of the legs and the acquisition of a correct posture with less knee overload.
Straps and braces
There are also adjustable straps on the market that are used in case ofvarus kneeorknee valgusminor, intrarotated knee and foot alterations that cause postural decompensation with knee overload. These are adjustable straps that are designed to keep the limbs perfectly aligned, they must be used at zero load (therefore in the supine position), they can be useful for those who, during the night, tend to sleep in one position.
To get an idea of the straps in question, I refer you to the Amazon page dedicated to "Fletion adjustable straps". There are many models, even more expensive, I reported these because they are very cheap (they can be bought with about 13 euros including shipping costs), so even if the patient could not bear them, he would not have made unnecessary investments. The braces are less invasive, they can be used in an upright position but are much more expensive: a good brace costs around 500 euros (per leg).
At orthopedics stores (or always on Amazon) you will find models of various invoices, in any case I do not recommend elastic straps because over time they tend to yield and do not allow you to maintain good posture, making corrective effort useless.
In any case, it is important to be assisted by a good physiotherapist and to avoiddo it yourself exerciseswhich can cause the onset of joint pain. In case ofvarus kneeof mild entity many experts recommend physiotherapy with the Mézières Method.
Knee, varus and stock
Over the years, an incidence of this bone anomaly has been observed among soccer players. This is because the player is subjected, from an early age, when the bones are developing and growing, to excessive physical preparation. Today, to prevent the onset ofvarus kneeamong the players offootball, techniques of preventive and compensatory motor education are being applied. Thevarus kneeit is not the only bone complication that is more prevalent among footballers: deformities of the spine, postural defects and paramorphisms are often observed among footballers who have started the activity since childhood.
The varus knee, in reality, can occur in all those sports that put a strain on the adductors, those muscles on the outer side of the thigh. When the external adductors are trained more than the internal adductor muscles (just like in football), varus can arise.
Please note: good postural education is important during childhood, regardless of the practice of competitive activities.
In the image above:
A - Knee well aligned
B - Bone axis moved inward (valgus knee or X-shaped knee)
C - Bone axis moved to the outside (varus knee or O-knee)
May be useful: hallux varus