Bowed legs are an outward sign of a bowed pelvis, a medical condition that isn’t always noticed at the time of birth. But if the condition goes untreated, it’ll require surgery before they turn 18. So it is a must for people to know about the best exercises to straighten bow legs to treat them well. Here’s more on what bowed legs in babies are and how to treat them.
The pelvic bones may be shaped like an ‘S.’ When a baby is born, the pelvic bones may not line up correctly, and one may stick out more than the other. It is known as pelvic post-partum diastases. It’s a severe condition that can’t be treated but can sometimes be managed. But, if your baby doesn’t get treatment for this condition, it may cause a bowed pelvis and other health problems when they’re older.
Causes of Bowed Legs –
- Bowed Legs in Babies Are Usually Caused By Pelvic Separation
The pelvic bones are not usually forced together during pregnancy. But sometimes, one of them separates from the other, which can cause one side of the pelvis to be more prominent. It usually happens after delivery when you enter recovery, and your body has to heal after birth.
- Pelvic Post-Partum Diastases Usually cause bowed Legs in Babies.
It is a condition that happens after delivery but before the baby turns six months old. As a result, the pelvic bones do not line up correctly, and one can stick out more than the other.
- A Severe Cause of Premature Delivery Usually causes bowed Legs in Babies.
Babies who are born early can also have bowed legs. It happens because the problem is caused during pregnancy and not just afterward. They can also be caused by a severe condition like an infection or an issue that affects the uterus.
- Genetics Sometimes causes bowed Legs in Babies.
Some babies inherit it from their parents, but it usually isn’t severe enough to notice. Other causes of bowed legs in babies include multiple gestations, a congenital disability, or a chromosomal condition.
Treatment of Bowed Legs –
Surgery is usually done before the baby turns 18 months old. The surgery is done to realign the infant’s legs and hips. In addition, it will make sure that their hip joints are not deformed. Though surgery is the recommended treatment for babies with bowed legs, some doctors may opt for casting because it’s less risky and easier to perform.
If you wait until your child turns one year of age, they may be fitted with a brace that forces their legs into alignment while they grow older. It is a less invasive option that takes time to heal.
- Physical Therapy
Your child can receive treatment in physical therapy. It’s usually done on the floor or in a chair, but some exercises are taught to the child, and they can perform at home. Some of these will strengthen the legs, while others focus more on strengthening their hips, thighs, and chest muscles.
Some babies are born with bowed legs, and they can’t use any of the other options. When this happens, parents may opt for a prosthetic limb. These limbs will be custom-made to allow them to walk in their condition.
Your child may be prescribed medication if they have a chromosomal condition or a congenital disability. It can help treat their shape while they’re young, and they can still use a brace and get surgery later. In addition, it will help if a problem with their cells causes the condition.
- In-Shoe Lifts
These are usually plastic and can be adjusted as your child grows older. They are inserted inside the shoe and are attached to the leg with Velcro straps. The knee is slightly bent while walking in this position, forcing the legs into alignment while they heal.
- A Staircase Device
These are also plastic and will force the legs into alignment as your child walks or climbs. But these are not that popular because they can be uncomfortable to use.
These are metal devices that are inserted inside the shoe. They help keep the knees bent while your child walks and sometimes work better than braces. They remain inside the shoes while they walk and adjust as your child grows older.
- Shoe Insoles
Some parents try to treat their children with orthotics and remove metal inserts from their shoes so the legs can heal usually. But this doesn’t always work because it can affect their gait, walking speed, and balance.
- Hoyer Rods
These metal rods are inserted into the leg bones and serve as a temporary fix until surgery can be performed later. They are usually used for orthopedic conditions like clubfoot, congenital scoliosis, pelvic disorders, leg length discrepancy, and knee osteoarthritis.
Bowed legs in babies are a condition that varies from mild to extreme and can be treated if it’s noticed before your baby turns 18 months old. But the only way to know for sure is to visit your physician. The good news is that doctors can treat this problem and give your child the opportunity to lead a long, healthy life. It’s important to note that any child born prematurely may have bowed legs, but they may have other conditions as well, so always seek help early so you can treat it right away.