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Curved Legs | When to Worry

Home / Pediatrics / Curved Legs | When to Worry
Curved Legs | When to Worry

First let us know what are curved legs?

If you hold the child’s feet together, his ankles touch, but the knees remain at a distance from each other. This is called bow (curved ) legs. It is very much evident when the baby is standing or walking

Almost all babies are born with some degree of curved legs. This happens because baby grows and tightly fits inside mother’s womb, which is a closed space. Because of the cramped quarters in the womb and not having enough room in there for a baby to stretch her legs out, the leg bones (which are very soft) become a little curved. After 1 year as the children starts to walk they tend to look particularly bowlegged because they bend their knees to help them balance and support their body weight .

Gradually as the baby starts to walk and stand with a more erect posture, the leg muscles and bones become more stronger and the leg straightens. This will take, from a few months to a year. Roughly by age 3, most babies no longer appear bowed legged.

When to Worry

First and foremost is…..Don’t panic. It is not a problem. Even diapers can make a child’s legs look bow-shaped.

If your child shows any of the following symptoms after age 3, please see your pediatrician:

  • Bowed legs that continue or worsen after age 3
  • Reduced movements at  hip joint
  • Knee or hip pain that is not caused by an injury
  • If the problem affects only one leg, and appears to increase over time instead of showing signs of improvement
  • Redness or swelling in the legs or feet
  • Limping, Legs turning outward
  • Constant tripping and falling

Few causes/ diseases that your paediatrician / orthopedician might suspect are:-

  • Rickets, a bone growth problem caused by lack of vitamin D or calcium
  • Abnormal  growth disorder in the shinbone (tibia)
  • Abnormal bone development
  • Fractures that do not heal correctly
  • Lead or fluoride poisoning