Bow Legs

Bow legs: Causes and Treatment

What Does Bowlegged Mean

Bowlegs are basically a condition that happens in the legs. In this type of a condition, the knees stay apart, and the person suffering from this condition generally stand in a manner that brings their feet and the ankles together. This is considered something very normal in the children who are below eighteen months of age or are just eighteen months.

The main reason why infants are born bowlegged is because, when they are in their mother’s womb, they stay in a folded position. Being Bowlegged is a condition commonly found in infants because of the cramped posture they are in while inside the womb.

The bowed legs start straightening as soon as a child starts walking and the legs start bearing the entire weight of the body. When the child starts growing, and the bowed legs are still there, the child is known as bow-legged, and he grows up with this condition. This is when the question starts arising, as to what are the risks of bowlegs. One of the very common questions asked by a lot of people is what the risks of What causes bow legs in adultsbowlegs are.

Bowlegs refer to a physical deformity that causes your legs to appear as bowed-out. It is difficult for patients suffering from bow legs to bring their knees together when sitting with ankles close, or while standing straight. Bowlegs can also be an indication of an underlying diseases such as rickets or Blount’s diseases.

For infants, no medication or treatment is required as the condition improves with age and as the new muscles start forming. In adults however, the condition is pathological that requires medical attention. Sarah Brown’s, step by step system called “Bow Legs No More” has already worked for thousands of people all over the world. You can try it too. It’s totally natural and pretty much safe to use.

What causes bow legs in adults?

The condition, in which the legs of a person appear bowed-out, is known as bowlegs. This means that the knees are very much apart from each other, but the ankles stick around together. Bowlegs are considered to be a dangerous sign of underlying diseases, like Blount’s disease or even rickets. If you have a doubt regarding what are the risks of bowlegs, here is the answer, and bowlegs can lead to a chronic disease, arthritis, mostly in the hips and in the knees. One should make sure that he sees a doctor, once his child continues to have bowlegs after he is two years old. Bowleggedness can be referred to congenital genu varum.

The main causes of bowlegs are listed as follows:

Blount’s Disease

Blount’s Disease is a condition in which the skin of a child develops abnormally and curves below the knees. Once the child starts walking, this condition becomes even worse, ultimately leading to bowlegs. Can bowlegs lead to knee problems in the long run? Yes, it does lead to problems in the knee and causes tremendous pain in the joints.


Rickets is a bone condition caused by extended deficiency of Vitamin D. This weakens and softens bones, causing the legs to bow.

Paget’s disease

Paget’s is a metabolic disease that negatively influences the breaking and rebuilding of bone cartilage. that cause bones are not re-build as effectively as required to keep the alignment and posture of the leg in a preferable condition. This leads to joint problems and becoming bowlegged. Paget’s disease is commonly found in elderly patients suffering from Vitamin D deficiency, arthritis or soft bone conditions.


The form of dwarfism that is commonly known by people is caused due to achondroplasia. This disorder is related to the growth of the bones, which can lead to bowlegs in the long run. Dwarfism results from a condition called. It is a disorder of bone growth that results in causing the legs to bow out due to the inflexibility of muscles and tendons to remain straight.


Arthritis is another bone condition that causes deformation and alignment problems in elderly. This condition is common in individuals who are 35 years. Left untreated, arthritis can lead to bowlegs and inability to stand straight.

Other causes

  • Bone infections
  • Bone tumors
  • Fluoride or lead poisoning
  • Bone dysplasia or abnormal bone structure
  • Bone fractures that are not properly healed

Diagnosis of bowlegs is simple. The mere appearance of your standing position can allow the physician to diagnose whether you suffer from this condition or not. The doctor may require a few tests to confirm whether a patient suffers from bowlegs alone or if it is a cause of another related disease causing the deformity of bones.

The diagnosis may include taking measurements of leg and observing feet alignment while walking. Blood tests, X-ray, imaging tests of the bones will also be required to diagnose the cause of your condition.

The Signs and Symptoms of Bowed Legs

The main signs and symptoms of bowed legs will give you a clear picture of what are the risks of bowlegs in future. Listed below are the symptoms of bowed legs. In all possibilities, after going through the risks listed below, the question of what are the risks of bowlegs will be completely erased from your mind.

  • When the gap between the knees is very wide, and the feet and the ankle are together when a person is standing straight, it is the biggest sign that a person has bowlegs.
  • If the central vertical line of the body is considered, then the legs will look like they are in a proper symmetry on both the sides.
  • The bowed legs generally start disappearing after eighteen months of age in a child. But if this tends to remain evident even after the child has turned three, then he has bowlegs.

What are the Risks of Bow Legs?

Often, this question arises in the minds of the people as to what are the risks of bowlegs and how they affect the health of a person once he starts aging. Generally, bowed legs are caused as a result of the positioning of an infant in the womb of the mother. The condition starts healing after a certain period of time, but if it does not, then one has to take his child to the doctor. As already mentioned, this condition in the legs can also be a sign of diseases like Rickets or even Blount’s disease. Bowlegs can be both short-term as well as long-term, depending on what resulted in this condition. The answer to what are the risks of bowlegs is as follows:

People who have bow legs have high chances of developing arthritis. This is the primary risk associated with bow legs. As a result of the bow legs, the posture of a person may exert an abnormal pressure on the ankle joints and the knee, which later lead to inflammation of the joints. This, in turn, results in the swelling and tremendous pain in the knees and may put a stop to the daily activities of a person.

 – It can also lead to the removing, straightening and breaking of particular bones in the body.

 – It can lead to severe infections in the bone.

 – It can damage the nerves in a person.

 – It leads to metal clamps that are deadly for the legs.

 – It may also lead to unsightly scarring of the bones.

The risks mentioned above have managed to clear the query of what are the risks of bowlegs. Normally, there is another thing that is frequently asked by many people other than what are the risks of bowlegs is, does bow legs make you shorter? Yes, since it is a deformity in the legs where the knees are apart, but the ankles are together, it does make a person shorter. The misalignment of the bones, tend to make a child shorter. The best way to treat bowed legs is by wearing shoes that are special, or even braces and casts can help in cases of a bowed leg.

Can bow legs be corrected in adults?

Yes, bow legs can be corrected in adults with a variety of treatment options available, including exercise, medication and therapies and surgery provided the cause and severity of the condition.

Treatment options for adults:


According to many physiotherapists, the best way to naturally cure bow legs is regular exercise. Strengthening the muscles surrounding the knees and upper thighs helps improve the condition. Different exercises include:

  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Leg straightening
  • Cow face pose and forward bend pose


Stretching is another significant remedy to improve the alignment of yours legs and back. Stretches help expansion of muscles, improving blood flow and increasing immunity. It realigns the muscular and skeletal system that supports the posture throughout.

Vitamin D

Deficiency of Vitamin D is one of the lead causes of bowlegs. Intake of Vitamin D supplementation can remedy the condition. A daily dosage of 400 to 1,000 IU is recommended for children where as 1,500-2,000 IU is recommended for adults.


Regardless of the fact that Yoga is a complicated exercise, it is effective in treating bow legs. Use Yoga strap to treat bow leggedness. It increases blood flow, flexibility of muscles, and alignment of the skeletal system. For elderly patients, it is recommended to hire a trainer who would assist you in performing the yoga poses. Yoga poses require careful training, preventing tension of the muscles resulting into cramps and chronic pain.

Cartilage replacement:

Cartilage replacement is a complex surgical procedure for bow legs. It is a process that involves developing artificial cartilages in the lab and replacing the broken and deformed cartilages with new ones. This treatment option is only recommended in severe cases where exercise and medication may not help to cure the problem.

Resistance Training:

  • Looking at feet:

As the strength in the adductor muscles seem to decrease, bringing knees together can become difficult. It is common for people with weak adductor muscles to sit cross legged. Therapists recommend to sit straight with intentional pressure on ankles and knee muscles to bring together. Try to bring your hips and toes together.

  • Hip Adductor practice:

Keeping your back straight, bring your feet together forming a butterfly pose. Try to stick your chest out while bringing one foot towards the front. Switch sides and repeat the exercise for several minutes.

Detoxification of body:

It is significant to consider detoxifying the body as you treat bow legs, as some particular compounds and chemicals may influence the bone growth during the development of bones in children and regulation in adults. For instance, lead and fluoride accumulation can lead to softening of bones. To treat fluoride and lead poisoning, use calcium or magnesium supplements. Replace regular tap water with boiled or filtered water. Increase the consumption of fruits and green vegetables to encourage detoxification. Avoid consumption of spices, processed and fried foods.

Other treatments include:

  • Special shoes for elderly patients
  • Braces (for children)
  • Surgery
  • Medication for diseases causing bowlegs


So far, no preventive measures have been suggested for bowlegs. The related conditions such as rickets could be prevented by keeping a check of your Vitamin D levels. Regular exercise and early diagnosis of the condition can help cure the condition at an early age.

Arthritis being one of the primary causes of bow leggedness can be tremendously disabling. Being a severe conditions, it impacts the knees, ankles, feet and hip joints due to the abnormal stress. These individual are most obese that aggravates the condition. As the body starts showing symptoms of deform knee alignment, it is recommend to start working on weight control to prevent the conditions from extending.