Coxa Valga

If you have been a victim of pain in the hips or the hip joints then most probably you are suffering from Coxa Valga. This article will cover in-depth knowledge and give you ample information about Coxa Valga, its root causes, symptoms and recommended medication and therapies.

Coxa Valga

Coxa valga is a medical term for a deformity in the hips. Often caused by a slipped epiphysis of the femoral head, Coxa valga occurs in the hip where the angle formed causes the shaft to increase above 135 degrees. Obtrusive hip pain is the main symptom of Coxa Valga and patients with this kind of disorder generally face reduced mobility because of the damage caused in the hip joints. The root cause of Coxa Valga is developmental delays or abnormalities such as cerebral palsy, spinal dysraphism, poliomyelitis, skeletal dysphasia and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Children suffering from cerebral palsy are the main victims of this disorder and the doctors should be able to identify this at a later stage of childhood.

Symptoms and causes of Coxa Valga

Since this disorder occurs mainly in children at a later stage of their development years, Coxa Valga cannot be identified easily. But can easily be detected in adults and they are more prone to the symptoms of Coxa Valga. The causes of Coxa Valga are several, these may include:

  • Rickets
  • Genu Valam
  • Formation of exostoses
  • Femoral fractures
  • Paget’s disease
  • Osteomyelitis of the hip bone

A huge concern for adults, Coxa Valga can cause a higher risk of immobility and loss of hip muscle tissues. Here are some major symptoms that can help in identifying Coxa Valga in adults:

  • The patient loses out mobility entirely and causes a lot of pain and discomfort.
  • The patients will also experience leg shortening or loss of the hip joint tissue and eventually, it may result in loss of bearing weight to stand on the affected hip.
  • The muscles surrounding the hip joint in the affected leg will deform and cause limping as well.
  • Patients who suffer from Coxa Valga present themselves with invasive pain in the thigh area. They often feel shortening of leg, complete immobility and find a difficulty in standing.

Coxa valga is diagnosed through clinical examination, radiography or the X-Ray imaging of the femur enables the doctor to identify the root cause. Your physician will conduct a full examination and maneuver your hip in different positions to check and ensure that the length of both legs is even. Any deformity and abnormality that is found, it will further be examined through X-Rays.  Through appropriate measurements and observation of the hip joint angle, your doctor will recommend further action on treatment and remedy.

Treatment of Coxa Valga

Surgery is not the first diagnosis that any doctor would recommend. If you have been an early bird in identifying complications, Coxa Valga may not need surgical intervention. However the more serious the condition gets and issue lies undetected, it may result in immobility and shortening of the leg.

Non-surgical options such as physiotherapy or use of clinical devices can get you some relief over a period of time as prescribed by the doctor. Devices such as cane support, walkers, and crutches with physiotherapy intervention should be of help in the longer run.

If a surgery is suggested then it will require the doctor to cut the hip bone and move it in such a manner that the angle of the bone is narrowed that will help you improve walking and standing positions. Sometimes the surgeries have been fatal and may cause complications that can make you suffer a lot of pain post surgery.

There are mainly two types of Coxa Valga, these are as below:

  1. Dysplastic hip – If your doctor has diagnosed a Dysplastic hip, then the structural variation of femoral anteversion and coxa valga can result in reduced stability and weight bearing loss. In children, the hip dysplasia can be treated during infancy. A method called frog leg positioning that increases the contact between femoral head and acetabulum, therefore, decreasing the deformity.
  2. Legg-Calve-Perthes disease – The doctor is more likely to use combined flexion, abduction and rotation of an immobilized hip joint in this type. This procedure helps improve the articular contact and joint congruence. The same procedure is used for conditions that are likely to be a congenital dislocation of the hip.

Coxa valga in children isn’t a pathological condition that will require treatment in the long run. The neck-shaft angle of femur shows constant changes in the childhood; hence a valgus position of the femoral neck with superior progress post varus osteotomy conducted in infancy helps in discouraging osteoarthritis in later stages of life. Varus osteotomy has a big disadvantage in the prophylactic correction that can lead to complications and hence should be discouraged unless there is a symptom of hip dysplasia.

Newer therapies such as intrathecal baclofen and local injections of botulinum toxin are also being devised to offer reduced spasticity. The surgical therapies include tenotomy, neurectomy/dorsal rhizotomy, and varus derotation osteotomy that can help in the long run in the adults.

Coxa valga is not a disease as such but a condition that can often go unnoticed. Doctor’s intervention is a must and if patients feel the need to show to the doctor, one must not delay the appointment.

Medical References:

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Last updated on February 22nd, 2018 at 12:27 pm

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