Tom Willemann Health Tips

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Bow-legged. Knock-kneed. How Are These Conditions Treated?

knee in the brace
Many people who are bow-legged (a condition called varus) or knock-kneed (a condition called valgus) do not realize how much extra stress they are putting on their knees. A normally aligned knee is designed to distribute weight equally to the inner and outer part of the joint.

This uneven distribution of stress increases the wear and tear on one side of the knee and increases the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis, especially if you are overweight. Because the knee no longer glides smoothly, walking or climbing stairs becomes painful.

What are the possible solutions?

One solution to relieve pain and improve knee function is a surgical procedure called an osteotomy, which realigns the lower leg so that the opposite side of the knee now carries most of the weight-bearing load. In an osteotomy, a wedge-shaped piece of bone is removed from the leg just above or below the knee, and the cut surfaces of the bones are fastened in place with a plate and screws.

While continuous passive motion of the knee can begin immediately after the operation, toe touching is the only weight-bearing activity allowed for four weeks to allow the bone to fuse. Eight to 10 weeks after surgery, exercises to tone and strengthen the muscles may begin. Stationary biking, treadmill and outdoor walking, straight leg raises and use of the elliptical trainer may enable you to feel totally comfortable during normal activities after three to six months.
If surgery is not an option some of my patients have experienced relief from knee braces that “unload” or “unweight”  the knee on the side that is bearing more weight. Ask us and we can recommend reliable sources to purchase the braces.
Because rehabilitation plays an important role in achieving a successful outcome, we can work with your surgeon to design an exercise program that will restore your range of motion and train your gait, while protecting the healing bone.
If you are considering this or any other knee procedure, talk with us before your surgery so that we can plan for your successful rehabilitation.

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Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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