What Is A Knee Malalignment?
Everyone is different, however, there is a general musculoskeletal design for our bodies. So, the knees should point straight forward with a normal range of motion that allows the joints to extend to a certain point. We are all unique in our own ways, but there are times that some of the differences can hurt us. A prime example of these dangerous differences includes a knee misalignment or malalignment. Instead of pointing forward, the knees poke outward or inward. When the knees suffer from misalignment, the entire leg suffers.
What Causes The Knee To Misalign?
For knee misalignments, genetics is a major factor that acts as an internal cause. Children may naturally grow in a way where the knees are pointing to the center or pointing out. Other causes can lead to knee misalignments, but growth and development during childhood years is one of the common causes. Knees with malalignment can still bend and support the body. Over time, normal movements will become extra painful, though. Before chronic knee pain starts, patients should avoid these causes of misalignment:
- Poor posture
- Severe trauma to the knees or legs
- Over excessive exercise routines that can damage the natural alignment of the knees
Patients do not have control over their own genetics or hereditary traits. Although, patients may experience knee pain from other causes that are in their control. Either way, care for your knees and learn more about your family medical history. For your child, pediatricians will ask about this information too.
Do I Have Knee Malalignment?
If there is a full malalignment, the patient will be able to feel the pain and see the abnormal position of the knee. Another point that patients need to know is that both knees usually suffer from the misalignment, since this disorder affects the entire leg. Chronic pain focuses mostly within the knees, but the left and right leg can also feel pain extending through the limbs. Anyways, the knees and legs will experience some of these symptoms or all the following signs:
- The knees begin to point inward and touch each other when standing
- The knees start to point outward and face opposite directions
- Running and other activities become painful due to the knees physically knocking together
- There is clicking or popping noises coming from the knees when bending
- Both knees have aching pain when trying to bend within the average range of motion
Depending on which direction the knees face, this affects the knee diagnosis. If the knees are in pain while facing outward, this is a varus malalignment, but if the knees point inward, this is a valgus malalignment.
Can I Stop Knee Misalignment?
Above all, genetics and hereditary factors play a major role in knee malalignments. The external causes of knee misalignments like overuse, posture, and trauma give the patient some control, though. So, to stop these orthopedic malalignments, patients should know how to take caution. Addressing specific causes and living a healthylifestyle will greatly impact a patient’s life. For example, people can stop knee misalignments with:
- Various exercise routines that challenge different parts of the body, not just the knees
- Good posture when the shoulders pull back and the toes point straight forward
- Protection for the knees when playing sports or being active