There are numerous physical health challenges that athletes experience due to the continuous repetitive movement. For some athletes, one of the most problematic conditions is knock knees. When athletes with knock knees straighten their legs, the knees will angle inwards and the ankles remain apart.
This valgus deformity can cause a lot of pain if you leave the medical condition untreated. The chronic pain will not only limit your athletic activities, it will also affect daily activities such as walking. You might also develop a limp due to the discomfort on your knees. Knock knees is not just a cosmetic problem; it will also increase your risk of developing stress fractures and arthritis in the future.
How Surgical Correction Can Help You
In the early stages, most athletes with knock knees can manage the pain caused by the condition using analgesics. Pain killers are often effective in eliminating the discomfort of putting weight on knees. However, there are significant drawbacks of long-term use of analgesics. The continual pharmaceutical pain management can lead to dependence on the pills. This affects your recovery and return to regular life. In addition, pain management will numb your sensitivity to pain, but this does not mean that your knees will not still be in distress. Exercise can also be used to treat athletes with knock knees but the results might not be ideal, especially for athletes with advanced conditions.
Surgical correction is an ideal alternative to simple pain management and even corrective exercise. Unlike these alternatives, this form of intervention aims to provide a long-term solution to athletes with knock knees. In simple terms, your orthopedic doctor might recommend this option because it will eliminate the need for permanent use analgesics. The solution will relieve the stress on the knees and limit the risk of stress fractures, arthritis and other problems. Consequently, you will be able to perform your daily tasks with ease. The surgery is a long-term solution, so you will not be burdened with frequent visits to the clinic.
The Process of Knock Knee Surgery
The process used to correct knock knees is known as osteotomy. The objective during this surgery is to decelerate the general wear of the knees. Without the fast breakdown of the knee structure, knee replacement surgery will not be necessary in the long run. This surgery is designed to alleviate your current pain and limit the risk of the development of arthritis.
During the procedure, the orthopedic surgeon will make a single surgical cut in the bone within the knee. This cut will allow the bones connecting at this joint to be realigned to their correct position. Next, a corrective internal or external device is placed at the joint to keep the knees in place. The surgeon will determine the best device, depending on your medical condition.
What to Expect and Preparation
The knock knee surgery is conducted in a hospital setting, so you should be prepared to stay for about two or three days. General anesthesia will be administered for this surgical procedure. The surgeon will make an incision in your leg and realign your bones to the correct position. The doctor will then insert the selected internal device to stabilize your leg. When the process is completed, the anesthesia will wear off and you will be awake.
Before the surgery, you should make certain that accurate records of your medical history are provided to your surgeon. If you have any concerns about the surgery, you should present them to the doctor prior to your appointment. This will eliminate any stress or unexpected occurrences during the treatment and you will have peace of mind.
Recovery and Physical Therapy
When you leave the hospital, you will require a walking aid. For example, walkers are highly suitable for supporting your weight. As your treated knees heal, you should be able to exert more weight on them. The gradual addition of weight facilitates faster healing and restoration. Physical therapy is part of the recovery process. It will help you maximize your range of movement and improve strength. Your doctor will provide you with the right information on maximizing the benefits of the physical therapy for long-term recovery.
Knock knee surgery can help you improve the quality of your life as an athlete with this valgus medical condition. For more information on diagnosis and treatment, consult your local orthopedic surgeon.