You and your family have probably been very concerned about the bowed
appearance of your child's legs and how this will affect his/her life. In the majority of
the cases, bowed legs are a normal occurrence in children's growth and development. The
physician determines, through observation, examination or X-ray, that your child has bowed
legs. Rarely, this condition might require treatment to prevent future problems.
What Are Bowed Legs? I n the first 12 months of life, bowed legs
are normal (physiologic). The legs naturally bow outward and begin to straighten as the
baby grows. By age 4-6, it is common to see the child become knock-kneed, and then by age
10-12 the legs again become straight. A family history of bowed legs is common. In other
cases, the bowing may be due to an abnormality of the growth plate at the top of the shin
bone (tibia) at the knee. The physician will explain the cause to you. If the bowing is
not equal on both legs or if your child is older than 30 months, your physician may want to take an X-ray of the legs. This will help
determine if treatment is necessary.
What Is The treatment for Bowed Legs?
For physiological bowing, the treatment will probably be observation.
You may want to take a picture of your child standing and several months later, take
another picture to compare the straightening process. For other rare causes of bowing the
treatment may be bracing or, when the child is older, surgery.
I . Early walking or standing does not cause bowed legs.
2. Physiologic bowing does not require bracing or surgery.
3. In untreated, severe cases, arthritis or an awkward gait may occur in later life.
4. Bowed legs will not interfere with your child's ability to lead a normal life
The more severe family inherited form of bowed legs is Blount's
disease. It is a more severe form and more common in blacks. It may require