Blount’s disease : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Alternate Names : Tibia vara

Definition

Blount’s disease is a growth disorder of the shin bone (tibia) in which the lower leg turns inward, resembling a bowleg.

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Blount’s disease occurs in young children and adolescents. The cause is unknown but is thought to be due to the effects of weight on the growth plate. The inner part of the shin bone, just below the knee, fails to develop normally.

Unlike bowlegs, which tend to straighten as the child develops, Blount’s disease slowly gets worse. It can cause severe bowing of one or both legs.

This condition is more common among African-American children. It is also associated with obesity and early walking.

Pictures & Images

Anterior skeletal anatomy

The skeleton is made up of 206 bones in the adult and contributes to the form and shape of the body. The skeleton has several important fuctions for the body. The bones of the skeleton provide support for the soft tissues. For example, the rib cage supports the thoracic wall. Most muscles of the body are attached to bones which act as levers to allow movement of body parts. The bones of the skeleton also serve as a reservoir for minerals, such as calcium and phosphate. Finally, most of the blood cell formation takes places within the marrow of certain bones.


Review Date : 11/2/2009
Reviewed By : Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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