What Are Bowed Legs?

Bowed legs are a condition where the child’s legs are bowed outwards in the standing position.

This condition is medically know as Genu Varum. When the ankles are placed together the knees are greater than 2.5cms apart.

These are commonly seen in infants, and should generally straighten around the age of 2. If this misalignment continues into adolescence it can lead to poor foot mechanics and lower leg problems.

If these are not assessed and do not correct normally it can cause problems later in life such as:

Bowed Legs Snapshot

  • Also known as “genu varum”
  • Commonly seen in children under the age of 2 years old
  • It is advised to seek medical advice if it persist after 3 years of age


Causes of Bowed Legs

  • Bone Disease (Rickets or Blount’s disease and typically only affects one leg).
  • Normal growth development up until 2 years of age.
  • Genetic factors.
  • Fractures that do not heal properly.
  • Post surgical intervention.


Bowed Legs Symptoms

  • Knee or hip pain.
  • Reduced range of motion in hips.
  • Difficulty walking or running.
  • Knee instability.


Treatment for Bowed Legs

  • Normal bowing generally corrects itself without bracing or special shoes and only requires monitoring.
  • Rickets disease is treated with vitamin D and calcium increase in diet, some forms of Rickets diseases are inherited and will need to be referred to an endocrinologist for treatment.
  • Blount’s disease is of unknown cause but affects the tibia bone of the lower leg, children may need bracing or surgery between 3-4 years old.
  • Orthotics and/or braces accompanied with supportive footwear to treat the flat feet that can be a compensation for bowlegs.
  • Gentle exercise and stretching.

Well Heeled Podiatry is trained and experienced in assessing the development and normal age for stage milestones of your child’s growth.

We can assist in reducing the discomfort and dysfunction of your child’s lower limbs and help devise an appropriate treatment plan if intervention is necessary.

Careful monitoring, education and advice will be offered to put your mind at ease as a concerned parent if treatment is not required.


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