Synergy Health Partners

Bow Legged

Bowed legs in toddlers, often due to a condition known as Blount’s disease, are characterized by a noticeable space between the lower legs and knees when standing with feet together. This condition can naturally correct itself as the child grows, but if it persists beyond age 3, underlying causes such as Blount’s disease or rickets may be involved. Adolescents can also develop bowed legs, particularly if they are significantly overweight.


Bowed legs are most evident when a child stands and walks, often causing an awkward walking pattern. In toddlers, this condition typically does not cause pain and coordination is usually normal. However, in adolescence, persistent bowing can lead to discomfort in the hips, knees, and ankles due to abnormal stress on these joints. Parents might also notice frequent tripping, especially if intoeing is present.

Treatment Options

Physiologic Genu Varum: This condition often resolves on its own by age 3 to 4. Regular monitoring by a doctor is recommended until the bowing corrects itself.

Blount’s Disease: Early intervention with bracing can be effective for infants, but adolescents typically require surgical correction. Surgery may involve guided growth or tibial osteotomy, depending on the severity and progression.

Rickets: Treatment involves medical management by a metabolic specialist and orthopedic follow-up. Persistent deformities despite medication may necessitate surgical intervention to correct the bone structure.


Physiologic Genu Varum: Common in children under 2, this natural variation in leg appearance usually corrects itself as the child grows.

Blount’s Disease: This condition results from an abnormality in the growth plate of the shinbone, leading to progressive worsening if untreated.

Rickets: A bone disease caused by a deficiency in calcium, phosphorus, or Vitamin D, leading to bowed legs and other deformities. While rare in developed countries, it can occur in children with poor dietary intake or genetic abnormalities affecting Vitamin D absorption.


Book an appointment with Anna Babushkina, MD, Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon, or Kyle Bohm, MD, Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon.