What is Blount's disease and how is it treated

Blount's disease, also called tibia rod, is characterized by changes in the development of the shin bone, the tibia, leading to progressive deformation of the legs.

This disease can be classified according to the age at which it is observed and the factors associated with its occurrence in:

  • Infantile, when observed in both legs of children between 1 and 3 years old, being more related to early gait;
  • Late, when observed in one of the legs of children between 4 and 10 years old or of adolescents, being more related to overweight;

The treatment of Blount's disease is done according to the person's age and the degree of deformation of the leg, being recommended, in the most severe cases, surgery under general anesthesia followed by physiotherapy sessions.

Main symptoms

Blount's disease is characterized by the deformation of one or both knees, leaving them arched. The main symptoms associated with this disease are:

  • Difficulty walking;
  • Difference in leg size;
  • Pain, especially in adolescents.

Unlike the varus knee, Blount's disease is progressive, that is, the curvature of the legs may increase over time and there is no restructuring with growth, which can happen in the varus knee. Understand what the varus knee is and how the treatment is done.

The diagnosis of Blount's disease is made by the orthopedist through clinical and physical examinations. In addition, x-rays of the legs and knee are usually requested in order to check the alignment between the tibia and the femur.

How the treatment is done

The treatment of Blount's disease is done according to the person's age and the evolution of the disease, being recommended by the orthopedist. In children, treatment can be done through physiotherapy and the use of orthoses, which are equipment used to assist the movement of the knee and prevent further deformation.

However, in the case of adolescents or when the disease is already very advanced, surgery is indicated, which is performed under general anesthesia and consists of cutting the tip of the tibia, realigning it and leaving it in the correct place by means of plates and screws. After surgery, physical therapy for knee rehabilitation is recommended.

If the disease is not treated immediately or in the right way, Blount's disease can lead to difficulty walking and degenerative arthritis of the knee, which is a disease characterized by stiffening of the knee joint that can lead to difficulty in performing movements and feeling of weakness in the knee.

Possible causes

The occurrence of Blount's disease is usually related to genetic factors and, mainly, to the children's overweight and the fact that they started walking before the first year of life. It is not known for certain which genetic factors are associated with the occurrence of the disease, however it is proven that childhood obesity is associated with the disease due to increased pressure on the bone region responsible for growth.

Blount's disease can happen in both children and adolescents, being more frequent in children of African descent.