BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuBowlegsGenu varumBowlegs is a condition in which the knees stay wide apart when a person stands with the feet and ankles together. It is considered normal in children under 18 months. Causes Infants are born bowlegged because of their folded position in the mother's womb. Bowed legs begin to straighten once the child starts to walk and the legs begin to bear weight (about 12 to 18 months old).By around age 3, the child can most often stand with the ankles apart and the knees just touching. If the bowed legs are still present, the child is called bowlegged.Bowlegs may be caused by illnesses, such as:Abnormal bone development Blount disease Blount diseaseBlount disease is a growth disorder of the shin bone (tibia) in which the lower leg turns inward, making it look like a bowleg.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Fractures that do not heal correctly Lead or fluoride poisoning Rickets, which is caused by a lack of vitamin DRicketsRickets is a disorder caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate. It leads to softening and weakening of the bones.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Vitamin DVitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body's fatty tissue and liver.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Symptoms Symptoms may include:Knees that do not touch when standing with feet together (ankles touching) Bowing of legs is same on both sides of the body (symmetrical) Bowed legs continue beyond age 3 Exams and Tests A health care provider can often diagnose bowlegs by looking at the child. The distance between the knees is measured while the child is lying on the back.Blood tests may be needed to rule out rickets.X-rays may be needed if:X-raysX-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation, just like visible light. An x-ray machine sends individual x-ray particles through the body. The im...Read Article Now Book Mark Article The child is 3 years old or older. The bowing is getting worse. Bowing is not the same on both sides. Other test results suggest disease. Treatment No treatment is recommended for bowlegs unless the condition is extreme. The child should be seen by the provider at least every 6 months.Special shoes, braces, or casts can be tried if the condition is severe or the child also has another disease. It is unclear how well these work.At times, surgery is done to correct the deformity in an adolescent with severe bowlegs. Outlook (Prognosis) In many cases the outcome is good, and there is most often no problem walking. Possible Complications Bowlegs that does not go away and is not treated may lead to arthritis in the knees or hips over time. When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your provider if your child shows ongoing or worsening bowed legs after age 3. Prevention There is no known way to prevent bowlegs, other than to avoid rickets. Make sure your child is exposed to sunlight and gets the proper amount of vitamin D in their diet.Open ReferencesReferencesSheffer BW. Osteochondrosis or ephiphysitis and other miscellaneous affections. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 32.Winell JJ, Baldwin KD, Wells L. Torsional and angular deformities of the limb. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 695.AllVideoImagesTogRelated Information Rickets(Condition) Review Date: 10/2/2020 Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.