What is it?

An individual with bow legs or genu varum has the knees bent outward and the feet and ankles touching. It is common for infants and toddlers to have bow legs. It happens to older kids as well.

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Genu Varum.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Bow legs
- Acquired Genu Varum

Signs & symptoms

A child with bow legs is usually not bothered by the condition since it does not cause pain or discomfort. An awkward walking pattern or the appearance of the child's legs may worry parents. However, bow legs do not affect a child's ability to crawl, walk, or run.

It is common for children with bow legs to walk with their toes pointed inward (called intoeing, or pigeon-toes) or to trip a lot and appear clumsy. As the child grows, these problems usually resolve themselves.

During the teenage years, the condition may cause discomfort in the ankles, knees, and hips.


Doctors examine children and ask about their medical history. If the child is younger than 2 years old, feels well, and both legs are bowed to the same degree, no tests are likely to be done. As the child grows, they will watch to see if the bow legs improve.
In order to check for Blount disease or rickets, an X-ray might be necessary.


Bow legs that are physiologic do not require treatment. As the child grows, the problem usually resolves itself.
Blount disease may require a brace or surgery for a child.
Vitamin D and calcium are usually added to the diet in order to treat rickets. An endocrinologist may be required for rickets caused by a genetic condition

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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