Babies are all naturally born bow-legged, and this happens because of the position they are in inside the womb. When your baby was born, his or her legs were probably really curved, but most children's legs straighten out as they grow up. If your child is three years old and still has legs that appear like this, it might be worthwhile to talk to your child's pediatrician. Here are several things you should know about this.
What causes it?
Bowed legs is a condition known as Blount's Disease, and this disease affects the way a child's leg bones grow. This can happen for a number of different reasons, and it can even be hereditary. There is really nothing you can do to prevent your child from developing this condition, but there are ways doctors can treat it.
Most doctors will not want to treat the problem until a child is at least three years old, though, because the average child's legs will straighten out over time. It may take a few years for this to happen, but it is better to wait and let it happen naturally if it is going to occur.
What can be done to fix it?
Doctors will typically determine how to fix the problem by first taking x-rays. X-rays will show any abnormalities of the legs, and they will guide the doctor's decision about how to treat the legs. Your child's doctor will also examine the child's legs when he or she stands. The doctor will have the child stand up straight with his or her feet together. If the child's knees do not touch, the doctor can usually diagnose the condition as Blount's disease.
One of the most common methods used for fixing this problem is leg braces. Wearing leg braces will help force the bones to be straight, and this is easier to do when a child is young. The bones of young children will move easier than bones of adults.
If leg braces do not work or if the child's case is extreme, the doctor might recommend surgery. Surgery can be used to reposition the legs so they are straight. This method is typically not needed, but it can be in some cases.
If you have concerns over your child's legs, talk to his or her pediatrician. Pediatricians can offer more insight and information about this condition or any other concerns you may have with your young child.