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Old 10-02-2016, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
7,429 posts, read 4,784,122 times
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In early August I had to have arthroscopic surgery on my knee. Before the surgery, after having MRIs done on both knees, the surgeon explained to me that as people age, most of them become bow legged, and a much smaller percentage become knock-kneed. I was in the common set of being slightly bow legged.

In my case the meniscus on the inside of my right knee was partially torn. I am still in pain from the little bit of arthritis that I have. Even after the physical therapy giving me all the flexibility back, they say I will have pain for about six months. I hope it goes away, because the pain now is worse than I had with the torn meniscus.

About two weeks ago I was shopping for new shoes, and the sales clerk had me try a pair on after he had inserted something that provided "extra" arch support. As I stood up, I felt a much larger degree of pain in the bad knee. Apparently the arch support was causing my lower leg to shift slightly more outward.

about a week later I was having bad pain while trying to fall asleep. I tried several positions with pillows, but the only way I got relief was to lay on the side of the bad knee, put the pillow under the knee and rest my good leg over the other lower leg, causing my lower leg to bend slightly outward.

Not a very interesting story, I'm sure, but then while lying there in relief, I started thinking about what the surgeon said and my experience in the shoe store. Everybody wears shoes most of their life, and almost all shoes have arch supports. Could it be that, while trying to make our foot health better, we are making our knee health worse?

So I started thinking about if I could gather data to support my assumption. What I would need to do is find a large segment of the population that does not wear shoes with arch supports, and then determine if they have the same rate of bowleggedness in the elderly. My thought brought me to Hawaii, where a significant number of people wear flat sandals a good bit of time, and most people take off their footwear when they enter the house. I would think that might result in a lower incidence of bow legged elderly people in Hawaii. The problem is, after trying several searches, I couldn't find any data on a state by state level, for knee replacements, or other knee issues, on a per capita basis.

So, I figured maybe someone on CD might know how to compile data like this, and would be interested in finding out if my theory might be accurate. I know that shoe manufactures, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists would not have any interest in finding out if I am right. If they have data that would support my theory, they certainly would not want it to be out there.

So, even if you have no thoughts about collecting data, do you think my theory has merit, that (excessive?) arch support use can be causing a lot of our knee issues as we age?
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:03 AM
 
15,803 posts, read 9,978,264 times
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I'm curious why you think the bow-leggedness is solely a knee issue? Did the surgeon say that directly or did you extrapolate? I ask because, I've noticed that phenomenon, including with my mom who is 90, but I assumed it was osteoporosis and a variety of joint issues - not just knees. She does have knee problems and osteoporosis.
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Southern California
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I ended up with a bowed leg from hip replacement in 2010, which messed up my knee even more so. It's a challenge every day to keep moving and to NOT do anymore surgeries.
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
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I am not sure I buy the idea that seniors develop either knock knees or bowed legs. They can certainly have muscle, bone, and joint changes, though.

Aging changes in the bones - muscles - joints | University of Maryland Medical Center
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,168 posts, read 89,938,546 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
I am not sure I buy the idea that seniors develop either knock knees or bowed legs. They can certainly have muscle, bone, and joint changes, though.

Aging changes in the bones - muscles - joints | University of Maryland Medical Center
I am inclined to agree with you and haven't noticed that many seniors that are bowed legged or knock kneed. I can see where, possibly bad hips might cause one to walk a little differently but otherwise I have never heard anything to back this idea up.
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
7,429 posts, read 4,784,122 times
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The "bow legs" are not always that evident by looking at someone. You really need to look at X-ray or MRI images of the knee joint and compare the gaps between the upper and lower leg bones on both sides of the knee. If age related bowleg, the gap on the
he inside of the joint will be smaller.

Bowleggedness is not just a curvature of the bones.
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Old 10-03-2016, 05:42 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,168 posts, read 89,938,546 times
Reputation: 48060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzincat View Post
The "bow legs" are not always that evident by looking at someone. You really need to look at X-ray or MRI images of the knee joint and compare the gaps between the upper and lower leg bones on both sides of the knee. If age related bowleg, the gap on the
he inside of the joint will be smaller.

Bowleggedness is not just a curvature of the bones.
regardless, I still have my doubts about this. I have never heard anything similar and I don't think most of us have. I will say, true or not, I doubt it is a condition most of us are going to worry about.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:14 PM
 
5,585 posts, read 11,775,409 times
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There is no evidence to support shoe wear with or without arch support "causes" knee arthritis and why you would think there would be some "conspiracy" among shoe manufacturers, orthopedists and physical therapists to hide this information from the general public is ludicrous...

There are many causes for bow leggedness (genu varum) and knock knees (genu valgus)....for older adults osteoarthritis is one of the main causes

More people do develop genu varum than genu valgum as it is more common for the cartilage on the inner(medial) aspect of the joint to wear out before the outer (lateral) compartment resulting in the bow legged appearance which is not a bowing of the bones but a change in the normal horizontal plane of the knee

Typically its very easy to see if someone has varus or valgus alignment of the knee just looking at them straight on standing in shorts...no special x rays and certainly no MRI needed. A simple measurement called a Q angle will confirm the degree of deformity

It is estimated that by age 55 80% of the population has x ray evident osteoarthritis of at least one joint....of people reaching age 80 about 50% will have knee arthritis....so "bow leggedness" or varus alignment is VERY common in older adults but it is not MOST people even if they do reach 80...

So for the OP theory???

Not valid or even worth investigating

What you were experiencing is a known affect of inserts on people who ALREADY have osteoarthritis and in fact wedge inserts/orthotics can be used for treatment...but they don't CAUSE the problem
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Southern California
28,189 posts, read 10,874,838 times
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Thinking about this and I know a lot of seniors as I play bridge and they are all pretty up there in years. One lady has a bow to her leg(s). She also has lower back OA. I notice this as I'm now aware of my bow issue from the hip job.
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