Bowlegs Testing & Diagnosis

How does a doctor know my child has bowlegs?

Bowlegs are obvious when a child stands with legs straight and toes pointed forward. Your child's physician can determine the severity of bowlegs by observing the position of a child's legs, knees, and ankles and by measuring the distance between the knees. The doctor will also want to observe your child while walking, both coming and going, to assess the degree of internal rotation.

To document the positioning of the bowlegs and to look for any underlying bone deformities, your child's doctor may recommend X-ray films of the knees. During infancy, however, there is no clear distinction between Blount's disease and natural bowing. If your child is under 15 months of age, the X-ray can document the degree and location of bowing, but cannot be used to distinguish natural bowing from Blount's disease until the baby is older.