Also known as: genu varum, tibia vara
What are bowlegs?
Bowlegs are a curvature of the legs such that when the feet are placed together, the knees are not touching (the opposite of knock knees).
What causes bowlegs?
Bowlegs are very common in young children, and in many cases are considered normal up to the age of 2 years. This is called physiologic bowlegs. When bowlegs are still present beyond the age of two years, there may be a reason.
A wide variety of conditions can lead to bowlegs including:
- Metabolic disorders
- Skeletal dysplasias
- Asymmetric growth
- Congenital deformities
What are the symptoms of bowlegs?
The physical appearance of the bowed legs is the primary symptom. This can cause gait abnormalities, tripping, and falling. Young children rarely have pain from this, but as the child grows into adulthood, pain especially on the inside part of the knee can develop.
What are bowleg care options?
Most cases of bowlegs in infants resolve on their own without treatment. Treatment can range from observation, to special braces, to outpatient or inpatient surgery, depending on the cause, severity, and age of the child.
Reviewed by: Scott J Schoenleber, MD
This page was last updated on: 10/12/2017 4:28:40 PM
From the Newsdesk
Dr. Harry Shufflebarger, Director of the Division of Spine Surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital is featured as part of this half hour segment in the Planet TV series for broadcast on national television.
Our 10 year old son, Ryan, tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his left leg this past summer. I have frequently been asked, isn’t 10 years old very young to tear an ACL? Yes, for children that young, it is rare, but not unheard of. And for adolescents and teenagers, ACL injuries are occurring more frequently, likely due to early sport specialization, and the increase in travel sports and year-round training.