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Do I need surgery for knock knees?

Q: I am a 15 years old girl and my knees join up instead of separating from each other. Three years ago when my mother first noticed the problem we went back home to Karachi and showed it to the doctors and they recommended immediate surgery of my right leg. What they actually did was straighten the leg so that my knees may not hit each other when I walk or run. Now the doctors say that I should get my left leg operated too though I rarely feel that my knees are hitting each other. They say that if I don't get it done then there will be problems in future. What I want to know is what are the risks of not getting the other leg operated too?

A:What I understand from your description is that you have what we call in common language knock knees or genu valgus in technical language. This is a common problem in growing girls, and if the angle between your thigh and leg is more than 10 degrees (there is a method of measuring it), it needs to be corrected surgically. I understand that it may not be causing you any trouble now, but it may in future cause early degeneration (arthritis) in the knee. I should not say anything more lest may I cause unnecessary anxiety, but the good side is that this operation is now done by MIS technique where you need only one stitch to correct the deformity in your knee. The recovery time is approximately 6 weeks.

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