“Drawback of having bowlegs”
Most patients are usually taken by surprise when the doctor tells them they have bowlegs. They react as if it is impossible to have such condition at their age. “How is that possible?” is a typical reaction, while some conditions are severe. Worried they might be teased that a small kid can walk through their bowlegs!
Some patients try to find excuses like, “I was born with it.” or “Every time I wear shorts to play soccer, friends always tease me that my legs are not straight!”
This condition is inherited but there is nothing to be worried about. “Bowing” of knees or the technical term genu varum (genu = knee, varsus/varum = angles in) is part of the normal development of a person. It is the outward curvature (curved out or curving out) of the legs (x-shapedor o-shaped legs as described by some patients in Thailand) that causes separation of the knees when the ankles are close or in contact. The doctor needs to find out the severity of each patient’s condition though it really has serious consequences if left untreated.
“When do you need the surgery for bowlegs?”
Bowlegs (Varus knees) that reach these severe conditions need to get operated:
1. The two knees are bowed or curved outwards (curved out) resulting to unequal length.
This causes the patient to walk wobbly because the lengths of the two legs are unequal. The wear on the shoe soles are also unequal. When a patient is wobbly walking for a distance or standing for a long time, it will result in backache. The patient is usually unaware that the chronic backache is caused by bowlegs.
“The treatment for varus knee (bow-legged) correction”
Nowadays, there are only three standard treatments for varus knee correction to regain straight knees, which are acceptable for successful result.
1. Knee replacement
This technique is suitable for inactive patients (older that 65 years old) with severe osteoarthritis of the knee. They currently receive full alternative
reatment though the pain has not improved still. Knee Arthroplastydoes not really last forever since it can only be used and worn for an average of 10-15 years. Patients need to use it carefully, avoiding contact sports. Otherwise, it has to be replaced earlier than expected. Another major disadvantage of knee replacement is having catastrophic infections. Knee replacement is only reserved for elderly patients with severe stage of knee osteoarthritis since it is the last option left.
“The Latest and Most Innovative Operation Techniques for Bowlegs”
Advantages of Modified HTO with New Charnley Clamp:
- Small cut wound around 1.5 to 2 centimeters; less time spent on the operation.
- Minimal blood loss; no need to use the tube to drain out the blood from the wound.
- Less pain; short time spent in the hospital (only 2 to 4 days).
- The operating tools are newly designed to be of smaller size and not to be left permanently in the bone.
Modified HTO with New Charnley Clamp
The method is the same as HTO, the third method, in using the Titanium Pedicular screw external fixator. The modification made the operation procedure faster, and with the patient having a smaller cut wound.
“The operation to straighten both knees at the same time with the new MHTO Method”
Frequent questions from patients who have bowlegs or knock-knees on both sides from a young age are:
- Can the operation be done on both sides on the same day?
- Is there a difference between knock-knees and bowlegs?
- Will there be a difference if the operation is done on one side at a time?
- And the most important question is: Has this kind of operation (same-day-both-knees) been practiced in Thailand?