Bowed Legs In Babies: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

4 min read
Bowed Legs In Babies

Bowed Legs In Babies

As babies grow older, they begin partaking in different activities which serve to tell their parents more and more about them.  And some times more and more reasons to worry as well. For example, when the child achieves its important milestone- pulling up themselves and take their first baby steps, the parents will start to worry if they notice a bowing in their legs. This means their knees appear staying wide apart even when their ankles are together. This, even though appears abnormal raising their concerns, is rarely get serious turns and usually resolves its own as the baby achieves more control over their muscle coordination. Read on to find out more about this condition, its treatment, etc.

What Are Bowlegs In Babies?

Having bowed legs means that when your baby reaches the age of standing and walking, you will see that their knees do not touch, even though their ankles do. It will be more evident when the baby is standing. It will also be noticed when you draw out the baby’s leg while massaging him or her. Bowed legs can be observed either on one or both the legs of the baby.

Are Bowlegs Different From Knock Knees?

In fact, Knock knees are just the opposite condition of the bowed leg. A baby having knock knee will be able to bring the knees together but fails to bring the feet together. On the other hand, a baby having bowed leg can easily bring the feet together but the knees remain apart and cannot be brought together.  This difference can be deciphered from their scientific names too – it is genu varum for the former and genu valgum for the latter. So what this essentially means is that when you have bowlegs, your ankles touch but your knees do not, and when you have knock knees, your ankles do not touch but your knees do. Both are often very easy to identify in a baby.

How Does A Baby Get Bowlegs?

How the baby inhabited the womb can affect the shape or built of their legs in the formative years, or even after that.

  1. This is so because their muscles have not had any sort of exercise or rigorous movement in the womb.
  2. Apart from this reason, if your baby is not getting enough Vitamin D, it can lead to this condition as a lack of Vitamin D decreases the strength of bones.
  3. If your baby has had rickets or suffered any sort of injury that led to bowing fractures and then swelling, your baby may develop bowed legs.
  4. Bowed legs can also result from the hereditary route of bone dysplasia. In this quite rare condition, the baby’s growth and development is hampered by the unusual development of their joints, etc.

Do Bow Legs In Babies Go Away On Their Own?

In many cases, yes the bowed legs do go away on its own. If your baby has bow legs, it will more often last until he or she turns one year old. After that, eventually, as the leg straightens and once they no longer need to bow their legs for balancing themselves, and as the baby starts to walk in a more erect posture, the “bow of the leg”  starts to decrease. Therefore, usually, as your baby reaches his or her fourth birthday, he or she no longer appear bowed legged. However, in case there are some underlying issues like rickets or even Blount’s disease, the bowed legs may not go away even after that age.

Can Bowed Legs Be A Problem For The Baby?

Though not every case of bow legs proves to be problematic, sometimes having this condition may pose as a hurdle.

  1. Bowlegged babies may find walking to be more difficult a task as compared to babies who do not have bow legs.
  2. Thus, running will also be an issue for such babies.
  3. They also find standing with their whole body straight demanding as well.

How Are Bowlegs In Babies Diagnosed?

Bowlegs In Babies Diagnosed

Bowlegs In Babies Diagnosed

If you find that the above descriptions of bow legs are similar to what our baby’s legs look like, it is time to schedule an appointment with your doctor and get to the root of it.

  1. Your doctor is first going to determine the severity of the condition if any. This can be done in a variety of ways depending upon the patient.
  2. The most common and shortest method is to conduct a physical exam in order to look at the bow of your baby and figure out the level of severity. Next, doctors may perform a blood test to check your baby has low levels of Vitamin D.

How Are Bowlegs In Babies Treated?

The treatment for bowed legs is not as rigid or even common. This is so because what the treatment plan for bow legs in babies depends on, mostly, is the severity of the condition.

  1. So if it is negligible or mild, the doctor may just ask you to come in for regular checkups every six months or so. The problem goes away on its own most of the time.
  2. If they find that there is a possibility of rickets or Blount’s disease, you may be asked to see a specialist.
  3. Surgical intervention is very, very rare in cases of bow legs. If it does occur, there are generally two ways – either Guided Growth Surgery (GGS) or Tibial Osteotomy.
  4. Before, leg braces were used to treat this condition but are now discouraged because they have been found to come in the way of the child’s physical development later on in life.

Can Parents Prevent Bowlegs In Babies?

As we have seen, the main cause of bowed legs is the positioning of the baby inside the womb. As parents cannot determine or modify that, what they can do is incorporate all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to your baby’s diet so that their bones remain strong. Exercise and morning sunlight also help.


Bowed legs are for the most part, treatable thus there is no need to be panic if you see signs of it. However, as prevention is better than cure, it is important to take care of baby’s overall development when it is in the womb and even after its birth to limit the chances of your baby having any severe issues later in life.

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want personalized reading and shopping suggestions for your exact stage of pregnancy?

Come on, sell the idea of signing up with us in two lines so well that they HAVE to sign up.


Top 5 picks

  • 1

     Is It Safe to Take Alprazolam (Xanax) While Breastfeeding?

  • 2

    'Baby Talking' Or 'Parentese' - What's Your Pick?

  • 3

    10 Alarming Postnatal Symptoms That Need Medical Attention

  • 4

    10 Best Weaning Foods For Your Baby

  • 5

    10 Common Mistakes That New Parents Make

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of pregnancy?

165+ Services.

6+ Cities.

60K+ Parents Reviewed.

Explore Local Services.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.


Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.