At Physio Needs Academy, we understand that Blount’s disease, a progressive pathologic genu varum centered at the tibia, can affect the lives of young children and adolescents. Our compassionate approach to treatment focuses on providing the best care for individuals facing this condition. Let’s delve into the details of Blount’s disease, its symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment options.
Understanding Blount’s Disease:
Blount’s disease is not a one-size-fits-all condition; it can be divided into two distinct disease entities, each with its unique characteristics:
- Infantile Blount’s:
- Pathologic genu varum typically affects children between 2 to 5 years of age.
- More common in males and often bilateral.
- Rapid progression and may appear asymmetric.
- Primarily occurs just below the knee.
- Adolescent Blount’s:
- Pathologic genu varum typically affects children older than 10 years of age.
- Less common and less severe than the infantile form.
- More likely to be unilateral.
Symptoms and Signs:
One of the hallmark symptoms of Blount’s disease is the bowing of one or both legs, which can be rapidly progressive, appear asymmetric, and primarily occur just below the knee.
Failure to treat Blount’s disease can lead to progressive deformity, and it may recur after surgery, especially in younger children. Leg-length discrepancies may result, potentially causing disability if not treated.
Causes and Risk Factors:
The exact cause of Blount’s disease remains unknown, but it is thought to be related to the effects of weight on the growth plate. Children with infantile Blount’s disease are typically early walkers and may be overweight. Adolescent Blount’s disease may be associated with rapid weight gain or obesity, with a genetic component believed to play a role.
Our dedicated pediatric orthopedic specialists diagnose Blount’s disease through physical examinations and X-rays. X-rays can reveal deformities in the bone and abnormalities at the growth plate.
It’s essential to differentiate Blount’s disease from other conditions like Rickets and genetic bone diseases. Clinical observations, laboratory findings, and characteristic X-ray appearances aid in accurate diagnosis.
Our compassionate care for Blount’s disease emphasizes personalized treatment approaches, including:
- Nonsurgical Treatment:
- For infants with infantile Blount’s disease, bracing can be effective, aiming to guide the legs into a straighter position as the child grows.
- Improvement is typically seen within 12 months, but surgery may be considered if correction is not achieved by the age of 4.
- Surgical Treatment:
- Surgery may be recommended if bracing does not produce the desired results or for severe deformities.
- Surgical options include osteotomies and hemiepiphysiodeses.
- Osteotomies involve cutting and realigning the bone to correct the deformity immediately.
- Hemiepiphysiodesis corrects the deformity gradually by guiding bone growth using plates or staples placed on one side of the growth plate.
At Physio Needs Academy, physical therapy plays a crucial role in the treatment of Blount’s disease, regardless of the age or stage of the disease. We offer guidance and support throughout the treatment journey:
- Nonsurgical Phase:
- Younger patients and those in the early stages receive custom-made braces to redistribute forces on the growth plate and foster normal growth.
- We teach patients how to use the brace effectively and safely walk and balance with it.
- Assistive devices like rolling walkers or crutches may be introduced.
- The brace is typically worn for 1.5 to 2 years, with adjustments as the child grows.
- Post-Surgery Phase:
- Surgery may be necessary for advanced cases, older children, or when bracing is unsuccessful.
- Physical therapists help with walking using a walker or crutches during hospitalization.
- We provide instructions for weight-bearing as prescribed by the physician to aid in the healing process.
- Specific exercises are introduced to maintain muscle strength, joint movement, and flexibility.
- Children are educated on safely navigating daily activities.
At Physio Needs Academy, our compassionate approach to Blount’s disease treatment encompasses individualized care, including bracing, surgery, and physical therapy. We are committed to improving the lives of children and adolescents facing this condition, ensuring they receive the support and guidance they need on their journey to recovery. Join us in prioritizing the well-being of those affected by Blount’s disease.