Recurvatum means that the knee inclines backwards more than 5 degrees when weight is taken on the leg.

Page updated January 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

genu recurvatum
Illustration of genu recurvatum.


What is the cause of genu recurvatum?

One may be born with the condition, or it can be a result of ligament damage to the knee, a problem with the growth plates, fracture, poliomyelitis or a stroke.

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Is knee recurvatum painful?

The condition is not always painful. When it is, the pain may be accompanied by limb weakness, leg length discrepancy and decreased range of motion (ROM).

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Will fixing the ligament damage fix the recurvatum?

An osteotomy may be necessary to improve the alignment and prevent ongoing strain on the ligament. The most effective is an anterior opening-wedge high tibial osteotomy. An external fixator may also be used to progressively distract the joint and gradually improve the alignment. 

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Peer-reviewed papers

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Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...