Opening Hours
Monday - Saturday 8AM - 8PM

‘Knock’ Knees

Home / Conditions / ‘Knock’ Knees


Genu Valgum – commonly known as ‘knock’ knees, refers to a structural abnormality in which knees angle in and touch when in standing. There will also be an increased gap between the feet – usually more than 8cm. It is considered a relatively normal finding in young children which can become more obvious when they are around 3 or 4. They will usually grow out of it after the age of 7. Very few people will continue to have Genu Valgum in to adolescence and it will not typically produce any symptoms. However, specialist assessment and examination is warranted by a GP/Physiotherapist if developed in older children or in adulthood as this may relate to an underlying bone condition.

Signs & Symptoms

A gap of more than 8cm between the ankles when a person stands with their knees together is the most obvious symptom of knock knees. They don’t usually cause any issues but in severe cases this can give you knee pain or difficulty with walking or running. Long term, knock knees can be a risk factor for developing Osteoarthritis in the affected knee(s).


  • Rickets.
  • Increased pressure on the knee due to overweight or loose ligaments.
  • Previous injury or infection.
  • Underlying arthritis.
  • Genetic conditions that affect bone growth.

When To See A GP/Physiotherapist

  • The distance between the ankle is more than 8 cm (with knees together).
  • If it is getting worse.
  • Children under the age of 2 or older than 7.
  • Severe knee pain or swelling.
  • Only one side is affected.
  • Sudden onset after a trauma.

Assessment & Diagnosis

The GP/Physiotherapist may take few measurements, and they may refer you to an Orthopaedic surgeon for further assessment. They may also arrange a blood tests or X-ray to ascertain if there is any underlying causes to your knock knees. Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, you will be provided with education on the conditions and the treatment options will be explained so that you can make an informed decision on your care.


Adults can develop knock knees due to being overweight. Active weight loss is recommended alongside strengthening exercises for the hips & knees which your Physiotherapist can help you with this. If knock knees are secondary to arthritis, your GP or Physiotherapist may request a secondary opinion from an Orthopaedic surgeon. Your Physiotherapist can also provide advice on braces which can help with normal knee alignment.


In most cases knock knees don’t need any specific surgery or braces. Strengthening exercises for your thigh and buttock muscles can help avoid the deformity progressing if symptoms do not settle. Your Physio will create a bespoke home exercise programme that will be modified as you improve so that you can continue to make progress. We provide ongoing support and guidance for you to be able to effectively manage your symptoms and limit the progression of further complications.

Escalation of Treatment

This will be a last resort and done rarely, there are 2 types of surgeries to correct a Genu Valgum:



Note that extensive Physiotherapy is recommended before and after surgery.

Additional Resources

NHS information – click here.

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Appointment Enquiry

Please note - this is only an enquiry form, we will contact you to confirm appointment details.

"I was told by a previous physio that nothing could be done for my ankle problem and I would never play football again. Having received expert treatment and by following a specific programme, I have returned to 5-a-side once a week."
Mr J Arthur
"My back is 100% better now. I can't believe how much improvement a few sessions can make. Thanks so much!!"
Laura White
"I was referred to you via the GP on the NHS & you were able to contact me very soon, which was appreciated.
Your service was very professional, you called at the appointed time, you listened & responded. You emailed the specific exercises I need the same day. "
Sian from London
"The professionalism and knowledge shown during the treatment was great. I really felt in good hands."
Mrs Wainwright

Latest From Twitter

Like Our Page on Facebook

© 2021 Pure Physiotherapy. All Rights Reserved.

Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Patient Resources Professionals