What Is Femoral Anteversion?
The word Anteversion signifies to lean forward. Hence Femoral Anteversion is a medical condition in which the femoral neck is bent forward more in comparison to the rest of the parts of the femur. Because of this leaning, there is internal rotation of the affected lower extremity such that the knee and the foot is twisted towards the center of the body. In the growth years of a child some percentage of internal rotation of the femur will always be present but when it is abnormally more than it should be when compared to other kids of the same age then it is considered as abnormal and Femoral Anteversion is suspected.
What Causes Femoral Anteversion?
Femoral Anteversion is a developmental anomaly meaning that this deformity is present during development of the foot in the fetus such that the foot develops in an abnormally rotated position. The main reason for this rotation is still a matter of study but some studies have suggested a genetic link to it along with how the baby is positioned inside the uterus.
Is Femoral Anteversion A Common Disorder?
Femoral Anteversion is quite a common disorder and is found in about 15% of children in the United States. It is also the most common cause of intoeing in children who are more than age 4.
What Are The Symptoms Of Femoral Anteversion?
The classic presenting feature of Femoral Anteversion is that the child will ambulate with the toes turned inwards. There will also be frequent tripping and falling while ambulation. This condition rarely causes any pain to the foot. The deformity is quite visible and the appearance of the leg is quite abnormal when the child is walking or running. Since it has been suggested that there is a genetic link to the condition the treating physician will always want to know if there is any other family member who has been having this condition which makes it easier for the physician to diagnose Femoral Anteversion.
How Is Femoral Anteversion Treated?
As stated, there is some form of Femoral Anteversion in every growing child. Under normal circumstances this anteversion is about 40 degrees which decreases as the child grows and comes down to about 15 degrees when the child reaches teenage years and further goes down and hence the physician recommends no specific treatment for this condition. This condition will be explained to the concerned parents in every detail and that this angulation will normalize with time. It is seen that splints or specialized shoes have been ineffective for treating Femoral Anteversion. There may also be a question about whether surgery may be required for treating Femoral Anteversion. The answer to this is yes a surgical procedure may be required in severe degree of Femoral Anteversion where the angulation is more than 50 degrees and the age of the child is more than 7 years. The surgical procedure done in such situations is called as femoral derotation osteotomy. In this procedure, the surgeon will make an incision and go inside the femur, move it, and put it in the correct anatomical place. As stated, this is done in very rare cases as more than 95% of cases of Femoral Anteversion resolve with time and no specific treatment is required.
Prognosis For Femoral Anteversion
As mentioned this deformity usually corrects itself by the time the child goes into adolescence. Hence the overall outlook for this deformity is quite good and it does not require any specific treatment. It should also be noted here that children with Femoral Anteversion do not have any increased risk for developing conditions like arthritis or other difficulties later on in their lives and are able to live their lives normally and can do whatever they like.