Genu Valgum and Flat Feet in Children With Healthy and Excessive Body Weight

Pediatr Phys Ther. 2016 Summer;28(2):200-6. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000246.


Purpose: To examine the relationship between obesity, genu valgum, and flat feet in children, and find practical implications for therapeutic interventions.

Methods: A total of 1364 children aged 3-7 years took part in the research. Their body mass index was calculated and their weight status described. Participants' knee alignment was assessed by measuring the intermalleolar distance in the standing position with the knees in contact. The height of the longitudinal arch of each foot was measured using Clarke's angle.

Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity increased with age. Reduction of intermalleolar distance and increased longitudinal arch of the foot, characteristic of typical growth and development, were observed. Genu valgum was more common in children who were overweight. Significant correlations among body mass index, intermalleolar distance, and Clarke's angle (P < .05) were also discovered.

Conclusion: Children who are overweight or demonstrate obesity are more likely to develop genu valgum and flat feet.

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Flatfoot / epidemiology*
  • Foot / anatomy & histology
  • Genu Valgum / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Knee / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Prevalence