13 doctors weighed in:

Are bow legs permanent?

13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Granberry
Orthopedic Surgery
5 doctors agree

In brief: Depends on your age

Bow legs and in-turning feet are common in toddlers, worst at about age 2.
Then progression to knock-knees happens, worst about age 7. The average adult has a few (5-7) degrees of knock-knee. Milder persistent bow-legs are left alone. If you have bow-legs when you quit growing, the it is permanent, short of surgical correction.

In brief: Depends on your age

Bow legs and in-turning feet are common in toddlers, worst at about age 2.
Then progression to knock-knees happens, worst about age 7. The average adult has a few (5-7) degrees of knock-knee. Milder persistent bow-legs are left alone. If you have bow-legs when you quit growing, the it is permanent, short of surgical correction.
Dr. Michael Granberry
Dr. Michael Granberry
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Dr. Bert Mandelbaum
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree

In brief: No

Most infants are born with bow legs.
As they go from infants to toddlers, the bow legs often resolve. If your toddler still has bow legs by age 2 or if they have a significant difference in the bowing of each leg, you should contact your pediatrician.

In brief: No

Most infants are born with bow legs.
As they go from infants to toddlers, the bow legs often resolve. If your toddler still has bow legs by age 2 or if they have a significant difference in the bowing of each leg, you should contact your pediatrician.
Dr. Bert Mandelbaum
Dr. Bert Mandelbaum
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Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

Babys are folded up tight in the womb, often causing initial bowing.
Once they start walking, the pressures over their legs produces a change in shape & the knees may actually angle in at 4 & straighten at 6 or so.In decades of practice I have not had one that didn't self correct.I occasionaly get xrays to monitor the more pronounced cases. Compairing films 6mo apart can show progress.

In brief: No

Babys are folded up tight in the womb, often causing initial bowing.
Once they start walking, the pressures over their legs produces a change in shape & the knees may actually angle in at 4 & straighten at 6 or so.In decades of practice I have not had one that didn't self correct.I occasionaly get xrays to monitor the more pronounced cases. Compairing films 6mo apart can show progress.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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Dr. Wenjay Sung
Podiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Not really

Depending on where someone's stage is in life (adolescent, child, puberty), bow legs do not necessary have to be permanent.

In brief: Not really

Depending on where someone's stage is in life (adolescent, child, puberty), bow legs do not necessary have to be permanent.
Dr. Wenjay Sung
Dr. Wenjay Sung
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Dr. John Michalski
Orthopedic Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Bow legs can vary

There is variation during birth to age 6-8.
There may also be post traumatic causes that linger. Also, genu varus can progress in adulthood with tibial bowing in some with osteoarthritis.

In brief: Bow legs can vary

There is variation during birth to age 6-8.
There may also be post traumatic causes that linger. Also, genu varus can progress in adulthood with tibial bowing in some with osteoarthritis.
Dr. John Michalski
Dr. John Michalski
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