Bowlegs, or legs that curve outwardly, is normal until the age of 3 and will usually improve on its own. Children whose bowlegs do not get better around age 3 should see a doctor for x-rays and possible treatment.

Download and print a PDF version of this page.


Patients can be seen by Texas Children's experts in Orthopedics.

Causes & Risk Factors

Having bowlegs is part of normal growth for most children. Genetics and obesity can also impact bowleggedness.

Symptoms & Types

There is usually no pain associated with bowlegs. Bowlegs are typically symmetric. In young children, if one leg curves outwardly and the other does not, an orthopedic specialist should be consulted.

Diagnosis & Tests

Children suspected of having bowlegs should have a physical exam and x-rays after the age of 3.

Treatment & Care

Observation by a health care provider is usually the best treatment for bowlegs.

Living & Managing

There are no adverse symptoms associated with bowleggedness.