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Bowed Leg

Bowed leg is a bony deformity resulting in outward curvature of one or both knees of the lower legs. It is commonly seen in toddlers and overweight adolescents.

Children under 2 years of age may present with bowed legs (physiologic), which usually corrects itself by the age of 3 to 4. Bowed legs may be associated with Blount’s disease (an abnormality of growth plates present at the ends of long bones) and rickets (bone disease due to deficiency of vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus).

Symptoms of Bowed Legs

It is more noticeable while standing and walking with the feet together where an obvious space is noticed between the knees. In toddlers with bowed legs, the development of walking is not delayed and coordination is normal, but the gait is awkward. Bowed legs are usually painless but may cause ankle, hip and knee discomfort by adolescents due to the pressure applied on these joints. It may be associated with intoeing (inward curvature of the forefoot) and frequent tripping.

Treatment of Bowed Legs

When your child presents with the above symptoms, your child’s doctor will perform a thorough physical examination. Symmetric bowing before the age of 2 does not require further testing. If bowing is more prominent on one leg or your child is older than 2-1/2 years, your doctor will order X-ray and blood tests to identify Blount’s disease or rickets.

Physiologic bowed legs do not require treatment, but your doctor may want to examine your child every 6 months to follow its progress. Early Blount’s disease may be treated with braces. Medications and Orthopaedics treatment are necessary to control rickets. Surgery is recommended to correct persistent bowed legs resistant to conservative management. It involves altering the growth plates or cutting and realigning the shin bone near the knee to correct the alignment. Following surgery, physical therapy is usually recommended to improve strength and range of motion.

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Pediatric Orthopaedics Clinic locations

  • Idaho Falls Community Hospital Pediatric Specialty Center

    2330 Desoto Street
    Idaho Falls, ID 83404

    Tel :

  • Primary Children's Hospital (PCH)

    100 N. Mario Capecchi Drive
    Suite 4550,
    Salt Lake City, UT  84113

    Tel :

  • Lehi Primary Children’s Hospital

    250 N Miller Campus Dr
    Suite 300,
    Lehi, UT 84043

    Tel :

  • Utah Valley Outpatient Center (Provo)

    1157 N. 300 W.
    Suite 302,
    Provo, UT 84604

    Tel :

  • Layton Intermountain Hospital (Layton)

    201 W. Layton Parkway,
    Suite 3B,
    Layton, UT 84041

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - Missoula MT

    2360 Mullan Rd
    Suite C,
    Missoula MT 59808

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - St. George

    1380 E Medical Center Drive,
    Bldg 1; St.
    George UT 84790

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - Moab

    Moab Regional Hosp,
    450 Williams Way,
    Moab UT 84532

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - Blanding

    San Juan Health Dept.,
    735 S 200 W Ste 2,
    Blanding UT 84511

    Tel :

  • Outreach clinic - Vernal

    Tricounty Health Dept.,
    133 S 500 E,
    Vernal UT 84078

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic- Idaho Falls, ID

    Pediatric Specialty Clinic,
    Eastern ID Regional Medical Center,
    2330 Desoto St.
    Idaho Falls 83401

    Tel :