Coxa vara

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 23 Dec 2021

Coxa vara describes a deformity of the hip where the femoral neck-shaft angle is decreased, usually defined as less than 120 degrees.


It can be congenital or acquired. The common mechanism in congenital cases is a failure of medial growth of the physeal plate 3.  


One of the very early classifications proposed by Fairbank in 1928, is often considered most useful from a radiologic point of view. A slight modification of this system includes:

  • idiopathic
    • congenital: mild or severe coxa vara, with associated congenital anomalies: see associations
    • developmental: progressive, usually appearing between the ages of two and six years, with characteristic radiographic features
  • rachitic: usually associated with active rickets
  • adolescent: secondary to the slipped capital femoral epiphysis
  • traumatic: usually following fracture of the femoral neck (rare in children)
  • inflammatory: secondary to tuberculosis or other infection
  • secondary to other underlying bone diseases such as:
  • capital coxa vara: occasionally seen in severe osteoarthritis and Legg-Perthes' disease

See also

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: diagram : coxa vara and coxa valga deformities
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  • Case 1 : coxa vara and protrusio acetabuli
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  • Case 2 : angle 103
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  • Case 3: right hip in a 9 years old girl
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  • Case 4: fracture malunion
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