What Are Bow Legs?
Bowlegs are a condition in which a person’s legs appear bowed out, which means that their knees stay wide apart, even when their ankles are together. Bowlegs is also known as congenital genu varum. Bowlegs can sometimes be a sign of an underlying disease, such as Blount’s disease or rickets and may lead to arthritis in the knees and hips.
Treatment options may include braces, casts, or surgery to correct Bowlegs. Sometimes, kids with bow legs may walk with the toes pointed inward or they may trip a lot and appear clumsy. These problems generally resolve as the child grows. If the condition lasts into the teenage years, it may cause discomfort in the ankles, knees, or hips.
What are the causes of Bow Legs?
Babies are born with bow legs because their bones had been slightly twisted when they were growing in the mother’s womb. This is called physiologic bow legs.
As a child starts walking, the bowing might increase a bit and then get better. In most kids, the outward curving of the legs corrects on its own when they are 4 years of age. The legs might even look curved inward (knock-knees), which is usually straighten by 8 years of age.
Rarely, bow legs can be caused by a more serious medical condition, such as:
- Rickets is a bone growth problem due to lack of vitamin D or calcium and rickets are one of the causes of bow legs. It’s more common in developing countries where children don’t get enough foods fortified with vitamin D. Sometimes rickets can run in families due to a genetic problem that affects how the body uses vitamin D.
- Blount disease is a growth disorder that affects the bones of the legs and Blount disease is one of the causes of bow legs.
- Some conditions may affect bone growth around the knee including injury, infection or a tumour.
How Are Bow Legs Diagnosed?
Some kids might need to see an orthopaedic doctor (bone specialist) if:
- The legs are not straightening on their own.
- The legs are bent to different degrees.
An X-ray might be needed to look for Blount disease or rickets. If rickets is suspected, blood tests can help make that diagnosis.
What are the treatment options for bowlegs?
Treatment for bow legs is usually not recommended for infants and toddlers unless an underlying condition has been identified. Treatment may be recommended if the case of bowlegs is extreme or getting worse. Treatment options include the following:
- A child usually wears a corrective brace during part of the treatment and a Night brace that helps to straighten the position of the legs gradually.
- Casts are used to correct bone abnormalities.
- Surgery to correct bone abnormalities.
- A child with Blount disease might need a brace or surgery.
The Specific treatment for bowlegs will be decided by the physician based on the following:
- The medical history of the child and age.
- The extent of the condition
- The cause of the condition
How can I avail myself of the services of Treatment Possible for Bow leg correction surgery in India?
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Frequently Asked Question:
Most infants and toddlers have bow legs from birth whereas Bowlegs in older children are because of Blount disease or another medical condition. Blount disease is more common in kids who:
- Are overweight
- Started walking at an early age
- Have a family member who had the condition
Bowlegs caused by an underlying disease cannot be corrected completely until the underlying disease is treated.
Bowlegs do not cause any pain in the younger child. As the child grows the bowing can lead to discomfort in the hips, knees or ankles because of the abnormal stress that the curved legs have on these joints.
- Blount’s disease
- Paget’s disease
- Bone fractures that haven’t healed properly
- Abnormally developed bones