Is there an anatomical reason many women appear to be slightly knock-kneed?


Quick Answer

There is a reason that women frequently exhibit knock knees. Because female bodies are anatomically structured to facilitate childbirth, they tend to have wider hips. Thus, their femurs curve inward from the hip sockets to the knees, causing the condition known as knock knees.

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Full Answer

The medical name for knock knees is genu valgum. Most people with this condition are born with it. Genu valgum is frequently observed in children of both genders, caused by the position of the human fetus in the womb. In the majority of cases, the knock knees disappear by the time children enter puberty. Children also sometimes develop knock knees as a result of growth plate injuries.

Even when genu valgum does not correct itself, treatment is rarely undergone as the condition is most often a purely cosmetic affliction; however, knock knees can sometimes be associated with knee, hip, ankle and back pain due to the misalignment of joints. Female athletes are particularly at risk for these symptoms due to their natural proclivity towards genu valgum.

Weight loss, varied strength training, avoidance of high-impact activities and bracing can reduce the physical impact of genu valgum although none of these options corrects the condition itself. In the most severe cases, surgery is available to correct knock knees.

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