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Bowed Legs: Overview

What is bowed legs?

Bowed legs, also known as genu varum, is a common condition occurring in infants and toddlers. In many cases, this condition corrects itself as a child grows.

A child with bowed legs has a distinct space between his or her lower legs and knees. This may be a result of either one or both of the legs curving outward. Walking often exaggerates this bowed appearance.

What causes bowed legs?

In most cases, bowed legs are caused by the baby’s position while his or her mother was pregnant. Contributing factors also include loose ligaments in the legs, which children eventually outgrow.

Who gets bowed legs?

Many babies are born bowlegged because their legs were folded tightly across their bellies in-utero (during pregnancy inside the mother). Bowed legs usually straighten once babies with this condition start to walk and their legs bear weight. By age 2, most kids grow out of the condition.

Bowleggedness is a condition that is very common in toddlers. Adolescents occasionally have bowed legs and in many of these cases, the child is significantly overweight. The most common diseases that cause bowed legs include: limb length discrepancy, Blounts disease, Rickets, kidney disease or trauma. These diseases need to be evaluated and ruled out in order to find the cause of the condition.

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