My baby is 10 months old and still looks very bowlegged. Is this normal? If it needs treatment, what will need to be done? – Caitlin in Omaha
The pediatrician answers:
Bowlegs are a very common phenomenon, and parents worry a lot, usually because grandparents remind them of the days when children had to wear braces to “straighten out” their legs.
First of all, I would make sure your child’s legs have been examined thoroughly by your pediatrician, as there may be some subtle causes of bowlegs that would require special treatment. Most bowlegs, however, are a form of tibial torsion. The tibia is the big bone in the lower leg, and torsion just means it is “bent,” usually a reflection of how your baby was curled up inside your uterus during pregnancy. Mild cases simply correct themselves once children start to walk, usually by the time a child reaches 2 to 3 years of age. Generally nowadays most orthopedic doctors rarely resort to braces or even special shoes, as most cases correct themselves.