What We Treat

Bowlegs: Definition, causes, and treatment For Babies and Adults

Bowlegs is a condition in which the legs appear to be twisted outward with a significant gap between the knees, even when joining the ankles together!

Bowlegs in infants are considered normal due to their angled position in the mother’s womb, and they may continue to be bowlegged until the age of two. Yet, your baby’s legs will begin to straighten as soon as they hold body weight when standing or walking.

While bowlegs are more commonly seen in infants, they can also damage orthopedics in adults. However, a bowleg may indicate another disease for adults, such as Blount’s disease or rickets, or long-term bone misalignment that can result in knee and hip osteoarthritis.

Keep reading to learn more about the most common Bowlegs symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

Bowlegs Symptoms

Bowlegs’ most prominent and common symptoms are the apparent spacing between the knees when feet or ankles are joined together. Yet, if the child continues to have arched legs after the age of three, this might indicate a severe deformity in the joints and bones.

Bowlegs Symptoms include:

  • Pain in the knee or hip
  • Limited range of motion in the hips
  • Difficulty walking or running
  • Knee imbalance
  • Back pain


If left untreated, the likelihood of developing knee arthritis gradually increases with age. The knee ligament grows heavier with body weight and tighter due to the curved foot shape, resulting in joint stiffness and inflammation.

Bowlegs Causes

As previously noted, some children are born with bowed legs because of the way their legs bend to fit in the womb. Although this condition may be visible during the first two years of a kid’s life as he or she learns to walk, the foot typically straightens out by the time they are three or four years of age.

Nonetheless, Bowlegs can also be caused by some long-term disorders, such as:

  • Blount’s disease

Blount’s disease is a condition in which a person’s growth plates around the knee slow down or stop forming new bone tissue, while those on the outside of the knee continue to grow normally.

Blount disease affects children that are above three years old in both knees, while older children suffer from Blount disease at the age of 10 in one knee.

  • Rickets

Rickets is a bone illness caused by a calcium, phosphorous, or vitamin D deficiency in the body. These minerals are necessary for bone growth, density, and strength.

In addition to the above, certain medical disorders increase your risk of developing bowlegs, such as:

  • Flawed fracture healing
  • Paget’s disease (A chronic disorder that leads to bone loss and osteoporosis)
  • Lead poisoning
  • Fluoride poisoning
  • Congenital anomalies


How To Treat Bowlegs in Children and Adults?

  • Children

Unless the condition is severe, treatment for bowlegs is not necessary for infants and children under the age of two since treatment is dependent on age, the severity of symptoms, and if your child has any other diseases or not.

Children’s treatment options include wearing special shoes, detachable leg braces, or splints to correct the bowed foot. It’s important to mention that those same techniques can be used to treat Blount’s disease.

In the case of children with rickets, treatment may involve dietary supplementation with vitamin D and calcium, and surgery may be recommended if there’s no apparent improvement in the child’s condition.

  • Adults

Since bowlegs in adults are much-advanced, surgical intervention may be required to restore the foot’s natural shape. Osteotomy, a surgical procedure that reshapes the bones by treating joint disorders and congenital deformities, is frequently used to address knee or legs issues in adults.

Our orthopedic and joint doctors work together at Novomed centers to provide excellent medical care and cutting-edge technology in treating orthopedic issues. Flat feet, sports injuries, orthopedic ankles and knees, and many other conditions affecting the lower body are all conditions that our physicians are well-versed in treating.

Book your appointment today to have a one-on-one consultation with the best foot experts in the UAE!