While many of you may not have heard of Blount disease, it still affects a sizeable portion of the world’s child population.
It is a developmental disorder which is characterized by a disordered growth of the proximal tibial physis. This leads to deformity of the lower limb in progressive phases. Blount’s disease may also be associated with limb length discrepancy and could even lead to the deformity of the distal femur too.
Blount Disease – Forms:
Your child may be suffering from one of the following forms of the disease:
- Infantile Blount disease which is usually diagnosed when a child is between the ages of 1 & 3.
- Late-onset Blount disease which can be characterized into two categories:
- Juvenile (between 4-10 years)
- Adolescent (children above 10 years)
Blounts disease which occurs in children who are older is normally associated with obesity and is more or less unilateral.
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Are you unsure if your child is suffer
- The most common symptom is when the leg bows below the knee. This is not painful in young children but discomfort could be worse in teens.
- A bowing tibia may also cause a host of problems as the lower leg may not be able to hold onto the body weight.
- Arthritis of the knee joint.
- Trouble walking for a prolonged stretch of time.
Listed below are some of the Blount disease symptoms in children. Currently, researchers are trying to find out how all these factors come together to cause the disease:
- One of the main causes of the disease according to doctors is weight (usually obesity in teens).
- This is common in girls who may have started walking at an early age.
- It can also be hereditary and can be passed down from a family member who may have also suffered from the disease.
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Here are some of the other symptoms which lead to the diagnosis of the disease after a consultation session with an orthopedic doctor:
- If the leg of your child bows.
- If your child complains of knee pain that worsens over a period of time as a result.
- After a thorough physical exam.
- After keen observation of the X-rays of your child’s legs which the doctor will prescribe. Once done, the doctor will take a number of measurements to determine how your child’s leg is bowing.
- Abnormal bone growth at the top of the tibia.
- If you suspect disordered growth, make it a point to go for regular check-ups to confirm the symptoms.
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There is not proper or sure-shot treatment which a child can undergo to get rid of the disease. In fact, doctors around the world treat the disease depending on the age of the person affected by it. Listed below are some of the effective measures for this Blount disease treatment:
- Some children are advised to wear leg braces.
- Other children are asked to undergo extensive surgery.
- A surgery may require the surgical team to cut the tibia and then realign and hold it with a plate.
- Surgery may involve removing the damaged growth plates.
- Use of an external device to support the bone plate externally as opposed to internally.
- Surgery could also involve correcting the twist in the toe that is the root cause of the disease.
After the surgery, here are some of the recommendations:
- Ensure that your child wears a cast or uses crutches for a certain time.
- Physical therapy is important.
We hope that the information we have provided about the disease will help you cope better if your child is suffering from these conditions.
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References : 1
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