What is Blount’s Disease?
Blount’s disease, also called tibia vara, is a growth disorder in which the tibial (shinbone) growth plates weaken and bend. It occurs in a child’s growth years and causes the child’s tibial bone to bend in a “C” shape. Usually, infants’ and toddlers’ legs are a bit bent, which straightens as they grow and start […]
Blount’s disease, also called tibia vara, is a growth disorder in which the tibial (shinbone) growth plates weaken and bend. It occurs in a child’s growth years and causes the child’s tibial bone to bend in a “C” shape.
Usually, infants’ and toddlers’ legs are a bit bent, which straightens as they grow and start walking. Blount’s disease has a distinguished curve that worsens with growth.
Symptoms of Blount’s disease
Some clear symptoms of Blount’s disease are
- Lower leg bend in C shape.
- Bowing below the knee is difficult, affecting one or both lower legs.
- Inwards pointing toes and feet.
The difference between Blount’s disease and bowed knees
Although bent or bowed knees are a common attribute in both diseases, Blount’s disease becomes clearly visible in a child’s growth years and worsens with age. It occurs due to weak tibial plates and does not resolve independently. Whereas it’s common in infants and children of 2-3 years to have bowed legs to some extent, which straighten as they start walking. If they don’t acquire a proper walking gait, consult your doctor.
Who are at risk of acquiring Blount’s disease?
Obese adolescents or children who start walking before 12 months are prone to acquiring Blount’s disease.
| Blount’s disease and hereditary
In some cases, Blount’s disease occur due to heredity. The tibial bone plates are worn and cannot bear the body weight; hence bone twists in a C shape or inward direction.
If parents have Blount’s disease, they must be vigilant about their child’s leg growth and consult a doctor on seeing Blount’s disease symptoms.
Diagnosis of Blount’s Disease
The doctor will physically examine your child’s legs before suggesting a treatment. He will also recommend an X-ray to see through bone growth. The diagnosis of Blount’s disease is recommended after the child turns two or more years because until then, the lower bones are naturally bent.
Blount’s disease treatment and prevention
Blount’s disease treatment varies from person to person. The treatment offered is based on diagnosis, age, and severity of the bend. Treatment could include
- Brace: The doctor will recommend a customised lower leg brace for the child. The brace extends from the thigh to the foot. Usually, 3-5 children are recommended brace treatment, which they should wear at night during sleep for a year.
- Surgery: Surgery, like an osteotomy (bone cutting), can be done after the age of four. The earlier the surgery, the better the results. Surgery could include tensioning the band plating, removing the damaged tibia, and adding a wedge bone to straighten the leg.
Since the primary cause of the disease is bone curve due to bone weakness, i.e., inability to take the pressure, there is no specific way of Blount’s disease prevention. However, strengthening and straightening bones could be prevention methods. You can take the following steps to help your child’s bones grow healthy and strong by
- Encouraging them to eat a well-balanced diet.
- Make them exercise regularly.
- Giving them vitamin D or calcium supplements.
- Maintaining a healthy weight as per their age.
Important questions to ask the doctor about Blount’s disease
When consulting a doctor about your child’s Blount disease treatment, it’s crucial to ask important questions, for example,
- Should I allow my child to play outdoor games?
- Will the surgery lead to blood loss or any other risk?
- When and how long does my child need to wear a brace?
- What are the milestone improvements after Blount’s disease treatment?
- Would you recommend mobility assistance equipment to aid walking?
Our experts at Xtremity would be happy to answer your queries. Book an appointment with us to discuss Blount’s disease disorder.