Knock Knees (genu valgum)

Knock Knees (genu valgum)
Disclaimer: The following page is designed to provide information and advice for GPs when they are considering referring a child to the paediatric department at the Whittington.

Some degree of knock knees is normal from the age of 3 years and this usually improves over time. Children usually have straight legs by the time they start secondary school. Knock knees are commoner in obese children.

Who this advice applies to

  • Children who are walking and are otherwise developmentally normal.

Who this advice does not apply to

  • Children with known other neurological abnormalities

Referral is advised when

  • Children have knock knees under the age of 18m or over 10 years
  • The distance between the ankle bones (measured when lying down) is more than 5cm.
  • A child has unilateral knock knee
  • The child has pain or a limp

Referral is not required when

  • There are no other abnormalities (these cases can be followed in primary care and referred if any of the criteria above are met).

Investigations that can be requested prior to referral *


Additional Guidance & Advice

Email advice on referrals

If the above has not answered your query, please contact the Whittington Health General Paediatric Department for advice by email at
Please note this email service is for non-urgent queries only (for urgent queries please bleep the on-call paediatric SpR on bleep 3111)

To make a referral

General advice on referring to the paediatric service is available here [link to webpage]
Specific advice for this condition – None

Choose & Book Availability

Choose & Book appointments can be made for these referrals
Please refer to any general paediatric outpatient clinic

* Notes re. Investigations

  • Where investigations are requested from Whittington Health, these results will be automatically available at the time of consultation.
  • If investigations are requested from another provider, please ensure all results are forwarded to the paediatric department, in time for the consultation

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