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5 Causes of Bowlegs in Infants

About Infant Having Bowlegs

Having Bowlegs is quite a normal occurrence for infants under one year of age. Bowlegs is a condition in which when the ankles of an infant are brought close together, such that they touch each other, but the knees will be not be touching each other but will appear further apart.1 In layman’s term’s the legs will appear as they are bowing outwards. Every infant is bow legged at the time of birth. This is because of the position of the baby in utero. After the birth of the child, the baby remains bowlegged for a year or two after which the condition resolves on its own and the leg straightens out. Bowlegs in a child become much more noticeable when the child starts to walk and stand.

By the time a child is 7 or 8 years of age, the alignment of the leg is complete and if there is some angle that is being made by the legs suggestive of the child being bowlegged then this is something that the child will carry on to adulthood, but in almost all the cases the legs of the child becomes completely straight by the time the child reaches 8 years of age and there is no sign of any bowlegs.

5 Causes of Bowlegs in Infants

5 Causes of Bowlegs in Infants

There may be many causes for an infant to have bowlegs. As mentioned, every child will have some degree of bowleg at the time of birth due to the position of the child in the womb of the mother. This tends to resolve as the child grows.

Other than this, the causes of Bowlegs in infants are:

#1. Blount’s Disease: Also known as tibia vara, this is a medical condition in which there is abnormality pertaining to the development of the child’s knee and shin area.2 This condition arises due to excessive pressure being put on the growth plate or the physis above the tibia which causes the outer tibia to grow normally but the inner part of the tibia stops growing resulting in the tibia to grow outwards causing bowlegs.

Blount’s Disease tends to affect the walking of the child, but in some cases this condition may not become apparent till the child reaches puberty. In such cases, bowlegs become a permanent problem for such individuals which may lead to other conditions like arthritis and ambulatory difficulties.

Blount disease is much common in African-Americans and obese infants. Children who begin to walk very early in their childhood also are at a great risk for developing this condition.

#2. Rickets: This is yet another condition which may cause bowlegs in infants. This condition arises as a result of vitamin D deficiency resulting in weakening of the bones which causes the child to become bowlegged.

#3. Paget Disease: This is also a medical condition responsible for an infant being bowlegged. This is a metabolic condition which affects the breakdown of bones and growth of new bones.3 This abnormality results in the new bones that grow to be weak and soft causing bowlegs.

#4. Dwarfism: This is yet another cause for an individual to have bowlegs. Achondroplasia is the form of dwarfism which results in a disorder of the bones causing bowlegs.

#5. Some of the Other Causes of Bowlegs are:

  • Bone fractures that do not heal properly may lead to development of bowlegs
  • Bone dysplasia is another medical condition in which there is an abnormality in the development of the bones causing bowlegs
  • Lead poisoning is another condition which affects the bones resulting in bowlegs.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 16, 2019

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