Bowlegs are a condition in which the legs curve outward at an extreme angle at the knees while the child’s feet are together. Babies are born with bowlegs because of their folded position in the uterus (womb), so the condition is normal in infancy. The legs straighten as the child begins to put weight on them and learns to walk.
If the bowlegs don’t straighten by the time the child is 2 to 3 years old, or if they worsen, they may be caused by a rare, more serious condition. If left untreated, bowlegs can lead to:
- Deformities in the legs, including differences in leg lengths if only one leg is bowed
- Difficulty walking and running
- Higher risk of arthritis in later life
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes bowlegs in children?
What are symptoms of bowlegs in children?
How are bowlegs diagnosed in children?
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Orthopaedic Treatment at Children's National Hospital
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Providers Who Treat Bowlegs
Departments that Treat Bowlegs
Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic
For more than 25 years, the Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic has provided multidisciplinary care for infants, children, and young adults with various forms of skeletal disorders.
Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine
From sprains and strains to complex congenital conditions, Children's National Hospital offers one of the most experienced pediatric orthopaedic practices in the nation, with experience in treating all areas from head to toe.