Varus and Valgus — No Wonder They Are Confused

C. Stuart Houston, Leonard E. Swischuk

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In lecturing on pediatric bone disease to medical students, we have become painfully aware that the terms varus and valgus cause great confusion. Every year, when shown a radiograph of coxa valga and asked for the appropriate diagnosis, about a third of the students vote for coxa vara, a third for coxa valga, and a third admit that they do not know. Since radiologists, orthopedic surgeons, and pediatricians use varus and valgus regularly in their conversation and in their reports, we have attributed the ignorance of medical students to their inexperience, coupled with the unfortunate omission of high-school Latin as. . .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-472
Number of pages2
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 21 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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