Some new born babies are somehow bow legged due to the cramped space inside the uterus. In this case, the legs are very likely to be folded over each other. In medical parlance, it is termed as genuvarum. Genu means the knees and the Varum means curved inwardly.
A simpler definition of it is that the legs are Bowlegged if ankles are in a position touch each other but the unbent knees don’t touch. In mild cases, it can be corrected until a child is 3 years. If one of the legs is bowed, then the reason might be turning of leg bone due to birth injury or genetic disorder of the knees.
Diagnostic procedure and Study
During routine check ups, the baby’s legs are examined by a pediatrician. If the bowlegs are not more than 20 degrees, then the chances of correction will be automatic. However if the same is more than 20 degree, then after eighteen months, it might cause pain during walking and urgent orthopedic medical care will be required. Mild bowlegs that do not become straight by four years will also need medical attention.
When the child is diagnosed, the family will be asked for medical history, birth injuries and nutrition. A medical x ray might show injuries o deformities. If there is some history of knock knees or bowlegs, then it is due to genetic factors. It could also be due to Blount disease wherein the bone in the shin area curves inwards and the growth ceases to function properly.
This problem is generally developed in infants who walk in early stages or are obese and short. This can also appear during adolescence. Bowed legs might also indicate rickets which is deficiency in Vitamin D due to improper nutrition or lack of the exposure to the sunlight or genetic disability of absorbing vitamin.
With insufficient vitamin D, the calcium levels cannot be used and the end result being deformed and soft bones. Nutritional forms of rickets are uncommon in United States as the fortified milk and basic vitamin D nutrition is always there. In such cases a lab test will detect a genetic disorder.
If the bow worsens or is severe, surgery and braces is the first consideration. Correction needs to be done as soon as possible. Immediate medical care needs to be taken and should start up with braces. If this medical treatment does not show positive results, then surgery is required for correction of the faulty knee. Generally Blount’s disease requires surgery for rotation of skin bone to proper place. If this is not done, then the condition might eventually result in disabled knee joints.
The Nutritional rickets is medically treated with huge dosage of the vitamin D. The medical treatment of rickets that’s caused due to genetic defect will vary from the nature of disorder. Alternative therapies like acupuncture, chiropathy, etc. can be used for treating this problem. Light therapy will expose the patient to ultraviolet lamp or sunlight which gives Vitamin D. Even massage therapy might be helpful. Nutritional therapy, self treatment can also help a lot.