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Bowed Legs (genu varum)

Xray scan of patient with bowed legs (genu varum).Often parents become concerned that their child’s legs are bowing out. In most children before the age of 2 this is a normal variation of leg appearance. The bowing will begin to improve at age 18 months, and by age four the legs will have a normal appearance. 

Clinical Findings

While standing, the child’s knees face outwards then the ankles are close to each other.

Diagnostic Studies

X-rays or other imaging studies are not required in order to diagnosis genu varum.

Treatment

We do not recommend special brace, shoes, or other orthotic device. These have not been found to improve or speed up the resolution of bowed legs. Time and normal growth and development is the only treatment for genu varum. 

The majority of children with genu varum resolve on their own by age 4, but if the genu varum is one sided or severe, then further evaluation and testing may be warranted.