Almost every child develops temporary bow legs at sometime in the development.
Only when the conditions are extreme or persist longer than usual does the
presence of bow legs indicate a more serious problem. Therefore, we agree
with your pediatrician that the bow-legs in your child is normal and that
he will outgrow it in time.
In the first 18-months to 2 years of age, kids legs are normally bowed. Medically
this condition is known as genu varus. When they begin to walk, most toddler's
legs are to some degree bowed, that is, they curve outward at the knee level
in a shape resembling a bow. As the lower back and leg muscles develop, the
legs straighten out and by 2 1/2 to 3 years of age appear normal. Interestingly,
during the third and fourth years of life, a child's legs begin to curve
in the opposite direction, resulting in knock knees, medically known as genu
valgus. The child's knees touchor knockwhen standing with
feet apart. Knock knees gradually diminish with age and usually disappear
by the time the child enters school. The condition tends to be more pronounced
in overweight children.
There are some rare disorders of the bone which can cause bow-legs. In one
of these disorders (Blount's disease), the shinbone, for unknown reasons,
fails to develop normally and becomes deformed. In another, rickets , bones
and cartilage fail to develop properly because of a deficiency of calcium
or phosphate, usually resulting from abnormal kidney function or a severe
lack of vitamin D.
After reading about the natural history of bow-legs in children, you can
see why your pediatrician feels that no treatment is necessary. Only when
the condition affects one leg or persists beyond the normal age, do pediatricians
When would we worry:
If the bow legs persist past the age of 2 1/2 years
The child is still knock kneed after age seven
Only one leg is bowed
The bowing gets worse as the child gets older
Thanks for your question. This is just another example of the difference
between children and adults..... in kids, it is often normal to be abnormal.