Blount disease is a very rare disorder affecting children, causing legs to bow outwards below the knees. It is also called as tibia vara. Small amount of bowing is natural in infants. As most children begin walking at an early age which is between 1 and 2 years, their legs get straight gradually. But at times it may need correction. It affects children younger than 4 years of age.
- A growing pain in the knee area.
- The tibia can rotate the feet inward instead of outward.
- If the disease not treated, can lead to arthritis.
The physical therapy helps in all stages. The braces are used to treat the children who are younger than 30 months or are in the beginning stage of disease. The brace which is prescribed by the physician is known as HKAFO (hip-knee-ankle-foot orthosis), or KAFO (knee-ankle-foot orthosis). The braces must be worn for upto 2 years to see the changes in shape of the shin bone. If there is no improvement till 1 year of wearing it, then surgery is recommended.
If the blount disease has advanced and, brace treatment is not working , then surgery may be necessary. When you are in hospital for the surgery, a physical therapist will teach the child how to use walker or crutches and how to put right amount of weight on floor, to avoid the injury to the surgical repair of leg.
The therapist will teach you and your child some basic exercises to keep the leg healthy, regain the strength and joint movement. After discharge, most of the patients visit the therapist twice or thrice a week for better results.