If your legs appear bowed and you have difficulties walking or staying active, there are treatments available to treat the bone abnormalities responsible for it.
At his Miami Beach, FL orthopedic practice, an experienced orthopedic surgeon, Ettore Vulcano, MD, offers both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for bowlegged conditions.
Being bowlegged means your legs appear to bow out, with your knees remaining wide apart even when you put your ankles together.
Bowlegs is fairly common in infants due to limited space in the womb. In many cases, the bones of bowlegged babies straighten out over time without any treatment. However, bowlegs that don’t straighten by age 2 may need medical intervention.
Other common causes of a bowlegged condition include Blount’s disease, which causes your shinbone to develop abnormally. Bone fractures that haven’t healed correctly can also lead to bowlegs.
Additionally, you may develop bowlegs because of rickets, a condition that softens and weakens your bones due to a vitamin D deficiency.
Confirming a bowlegged diagnosis is generally done through a physical exam. However, Dr. Vulcano performs a thorough evaluation of your legs to determine the cause and severity of your bowlegs.
Generally, an early evaluation of bowlegs is important to ensure your legs can be corrected as quickly as possible.
Dr. Vulcano takes measurements of your legs and may request an X-ray of the leg bones to get a better understanding of your condition. Blood work can also determine if your bowlegs are due to rickets or another underlying medical condition.
As the condition worsens over time, it may become disabling, affecting your:
If left untreated, bowlegs can lead to arthritis.
For people over age 2 who have bowlegs that aren’t straightening on their own, Dr. Vulcano offers several nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. Initially, Dr. Vulcano may recommend specialized shoes or custom-fit braces or casts to reposition your leg bones.
If your condition is severe or other nonsurgical treatments aren’t effective in addressing bowlegs, Dr. Vulcano may recommend surgery to correct your abnormal bones.
Generally, this is done through a knee osteotomy, a procedure where Dr. Vulcano reshapes your shin or thighbone to correct the bowed position of your legs.
For those with underlying health issues, like rickets or Blount’s disease, you may also need additional treatment to address the root cause of your bowlegs and prevent a worsening of your condition.