Q: Hello sir, have a sister who is 16 years that is bow-legged. Is there any drug she can take that doesn’t involves surgical attention that she can take?
A: Bow legs (genu varum) would usually occur in children when they are born becomes of the position they adopt in the uterus (physiological bowing). This, however, would usually resolve and disappear without any treatment by the time they are 3 years old. However, in very few instances they do not resolve. Two other conditions Blount’s disease and Rickets can lead to bow legs. In Blount’s disease, there is an abnormality in the upper part of the shin bone (tibia) and in Rickets, the body is unable to adequately absorb Vitamin D or there is a lack of Vitamin D, calcium and/or phosphorus in the food taken by the baby.
When people with bow legs stand with their feet together, their knees do not touch and there is an obvious bowing of the legs to the eyes.
For a child less than 2 years old with the same degree of bowing on both legs (symmetrical bowing), your doctor may not suggest more tests. This is likely to be physiological bowing. However, if the bowing is more on one side, then X-rays may reveal Blount’s disease or Rickets.
Symmetrical bowing beyond age 3 years, is unlikely to be physiological and is also suggestive of Blount’s Disease or Rickets.
If physiological bowing continues into adolescence, surgery is the treatment of choice. If bowing is due to Blount’s disease, braces can be used to correct this if noticed early. If not, again surgery is the fall back choice of treatment. If Rickets however, is the bad guy, treatment can be commenced with replacement of deficient minerals (Vitamin D) and if this fails to correct it, surgery is done.
So, for your sister, it appears surgery may be the way to go if other treatment options noted are not applicable. Please ensure that she is seeing an orthopaedic surgeon who may also invite other specialists into the management, if need be.
So, now you know that if you have a bow legged child, you can absolutely do something about it. Bow legs are a major source of knee pain etc as one gets older. You don’t want to subject your child to that later.
Ensure that your children get adequate amounts of sunshine daily and also be sure that you give foods that are fortified with Vitamin D.
Have a wonderful day, y’all…and by the way I am absolutely not a sir! Nah! 😀 Remember all those labour room and child nursing experiences I’ve shared? Those could only have happened to a woman 😉
Here’s to a healthier you!