About Blount Disease
Blount Disease is a musculoskeletal disorder affecting the lower legs of a child causing it to start growing outwards instead of straight.1 Blount Disease is usually seen in children below 3 years of age or in teenagers, although it may affect the child at any age during his or her growing years.
The main cause of Blount Disease is an abnormally high pressure that is put on the growth plates on the top of the tibia. These growth plates are referred to as physis. The function of the physis is to facilitate normal growth and development of the bones during the growing years of a child until the time the growth plate closes which usually happens at the time the child attains puberty. The abnormal pressure that is put on the growth plates causes the outer portion of the tibia to grow normally but the growth of the inner part of the tibia gets affected resulting in there being no growth at all in the inner part of the tibia. This causes the tibia to bend outwards during the growing years of the child instead of growing straight.
Blount Disease is a condition which normally worsens as the child grows, if it is not treated appropriately.2 Hence early diagnosis and adequate treatment is recommended for children with Blount Disease.
Is Blount Disease Hereditary?
Now coming to the question whether Blount Disease is hereditary or not, then studies have suggested a genetic link to the development of Blount Disease.
The reason as to why this excessive pressure is put on the physis is unknown, but the theories most accepted are that early walking on the part of the child or getting the child to start walking even when they are less than a year old is one of the reasons for Blount Disease.
Studies have also suggested that children with a family history of Blount Disease are more at risk for developing this condition than the normal population. Children who have a history of obesity in childhood in direct family members also tend to be obese and this contributes a fair amount to the development of Blount Disease.
So, the answer to the question whether Blount Disease is hereditary or not is, yes. This condition tends to run in families and there is a genetic role at play in the development of Blount Disease.2