Knocked Knees & Bowlegs

Patient Education

 What Are Bowlegs And Knock Knees?

Bowlegs and knock knees are common variations in leg alignment that affect the positioning of the knees in relation to the ankles when standing. Bowlegs, also known as genu varum, refer to a condition where the knees are positioned outward while the ankles are close together. Knock knees, also known as genu valgum, are characterized by inward angulation of the knees, causing them to touch while the ankles are apart. These conditions can occur naturally during early childhood as part of normal growth and development but may persist or worsen if left untreated. While mild cases often resolve on their own as a child grows, severe or persistent cases may require medical intervention to correct the alignment and prevent complications.

What Can Cause Bowlegs And Knock Knees?

Causes or risk factors of Bowlegs and knock knees include:

  • Normal variations in bone development during infancy and early childhood, which can lead to temporary bowing or knocking of the legs.
  • Nutritional deficiencies, particularly in vitamin D or calcium, which are essential for proper bone growth and development.
  • Genetic predisposition, as certain inherited traits may influence the alignment of the legs.
  • Rickets, a childhood disorder caused by vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to softening and bending of the bones.
  • Blount’s disease, a growth disorder affecting the shin bone, which can cause bowing of the legs if left untreated.
  • Obesity or excess body weight, which can place increased stress on the bones and contribute to abnormal leg alignment.

These factors can contribute to the development or exacerbation of Bowlegs and knock knees, necessitating evaluation and appropriate management to correct the leg alignment and prevent complications.

What Are The Symptoms Of Bowlegs And Knock Knees?

Symptoms of Bowlegs and knock knees may include:

  • Visible bowing or knocking of the legs when standing or walking.
  • Difficulty walking or running due to altered leg alignment and gait abnormalities.
  • Knee pain or discomfort, particularly with weight-bearing activities.
  • Joint stiffness or limited range of motion in the hips, knees, or ankles.
  • Uneven wear on the soles of shoes or difficulty finding properly fitting footwear.
  • Self-consciousness or concerns about the appearance of the legs, especially in older children or adolescents.

These symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the leg misalignment and any underlying contributing factors.

Is It Possible To Prevent Bowlegs And Knock Knees?

Preventing Bowlegs and knock knees primarily involves promoting healthy bone development and addressing underlying risk factors that may contribute to leg misalignment. Strategies may include:

  • Ensuring adequate nutrition, including a balanced diet rich in vitamin D and calcium, to support proper bone growth and development.
  • Encouraging regular physical activity and weight-bearing exercises to strengthen the muscles and bones of the legs.
  • Monitoring growth and development during infancy and early childhood for signs of abnormal leg alignment.
  • Addressing underlying medical conditions, such as rickets or Blount’s disease, promptly and effectively to prevent complications.
  • Providing supportive footwear and orthotic devices, if necessary, to help maintain proper leg alignment and reduce stress on the joints.

Seeking medical evaluation and intervention for persistent or severe cases of Bowlegs or knock knees to prevent long-term complications and promote optimal leg function and alignment.By implementing these preventive measures, individuals can help reduce the risk of developing significant leg misalignment and promote overall musculoskeletal health and function.


Our Expert Pediatric Orthopedic Specialists Are Ready To Help

Our Locations


602 Vonderburg Dr, #103, Brandon, FL 33511, United States


Suite 480 10740, Palm River Rd, Tampa, FL 33619, United States

Scroll to Top